There’s a ridge between farm fields that overlooks the valley. We stand there often, basking in the potential of a deer sighting. At dusk they settle in the humble copse we call tree island; at dawn they bolt at the approach of the earliest dog. Often, mist obscures the far bank, now unreachable due to a dispute over a footbridge at the old mill. Otherwise we gaze out at the tree lines and outbuildings, guessing at the newly-planted crops, or when the combine harvester is due, summoning buzzards.
What do the American bison, western gorilla, and Eurasian eagle-owl have in common? One answer is that they are all species whose scientific names are tautonyms: that is, consisting of a pair of repeated words: Bison bison, Gorilla gorilla, and Bubo bubo respectively. Bubo-eyed zoologists may spot a more interesting connection …
How a female engineer defied all norms to save England in the Second World War.
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