As of February 2016, after 416 posts, and over six and a half years of blogging, I'm taking a break.
I've explained why here. There's plenty of past posts to read, though - hope you enjoy them !
Looking for a brilliant present for a young naturalist ? Buy my book ! Available from Amazon UK,
Amazon US and worldwide but buy from a local bookshop if you can.
Archived posts: The following articles are from the month or year requested:

Bog men and strange decomposition


BIG NEWS - I've a big announcement on Monday at 8am: check out my blog post then !

From collecting bones, I know quite a lot about decomposition. When an animal dies, the soft tissue, sinew and organs start to break down, releasing bacteria that eventually break down everything except the bones and cartilage. Often you can find the entire skeleton lying in the same position it had been inside the body.

 But what if it happened the other way around ? What if the bones decomposed and the soft tissue remained - maybe even for thousands of years ? It may sound completely strange, but dad told me  about something he saw when he visited the National Museum of Ireland while he was giving a talk in Dublin. These are the "bog people", and what happened to their bodies is stranger than fiction.

A gruesome find and a new mystery

Warning: Most of the posts I write are suitable for young children, but this one is slightly more gruesome and sad, so parents of younger children might want to read this first, since it raises other issues they might not have discussed with them yet.

The wood where this week's story took place is a wood that I would not usually look for bones. Unlike the huge dark pine forests with earth floors where I normally look for bones, this one  is a thin strip of deciduous trees (the leaves fall off, unlike pine trees) where grass grows. Open woods like this are more difficult to find bones, partly because they don't offer much protection to animals like deer, and also because if an animal dies there, the grass and leaves quickly cover up their skeletons

 But the reason that I was in this wood was because I had left my trail cam there for the past week to see what animals passed through there. Dad and I walked up there an hour before sunset to see what had been recorded, but I ended up finding something completely unexpected.

17 great Christmas gifts for bone collectors


This week I have been writing my Christmas list, which got me thinking about what presents would be a good choice for anyone who likes nature, especially people my age. 

There are loads of great gifts out but I have picked my top 17 (for all ages). They go from stocking fillers for a couple of pounds to great experiences for hundreds of pounds, but all of them are pretty amazing and would definitely put a smile on someone's face !

Close up with Stegosaurus !


Of all the dinosaurs, Stegosaurus is one of the easiest to recognise.  This two-ton monster had 17 spiky plates on its back, could beat you to death with its tail, and last weekend I got to see one ( as a skeleton obviously, I don't have a time machine.) 

Stegosaurus lived about 150-155 million years ago, and skeletons have mainly been found in America with one in Europe. The first fossil was found in 1877 and it was named a stegosaurus, which in Greek means "covered lizard", because of the armour along the spine. Read on to find out more !

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