Previously believed to be only man-made, a natural example of a functioning gear mechanism has been discovered in a common insect - showing that evolution developed interlocking cogs long before we did.
In 1990, Cambridge palaeontologist Kenneth McNamara stumbled on a poignant illustration in an obscure book by a Victorian archaeologist. The find rekindled a childhood obsession, and after two decades of dogged research he discovered it's an obsession that has been shared by humans for 400,000 years.
A notebook recording the fauna of Cambridgeshire observed and collected by the Reverend Leonard Jenyns between 1820 and 1849 has been published in full for the first time. A significant naturalist in his own right, Jenyns turned down the offer of a place on HMS Beagle, recommending instead a younger colleague, Charles Darwin.
Dr Amanda Vincent – one of the world’s leading experts on seahorses and their relatives – is spending a year at Cambridge’s Department of Geography on a sabbatical from the University of British Columbia. She is introducing some new ideas into conservation discussion groups at Cambridge.