31 episodes

A Collection of Wonders, Curiosities and Occasionally Horrors from the Natural World. Zoology, natural history and sometimes human history too. Amazing stories about amazing wildlife.

The Wild Episode Brian Ruckley

    • Nature

A Collection of Wonders, Curiosities and Occasionally Horrors from the Natural World. Zoology, natural history and sometimes human history too. Amazing stories about amazing wildlife.

    Portuguese Man-o-War : The Flagship of the Blue Fleet

    Portuguese Man-o-War : The Flagship of the Blue Fleet

    The Portuguese man o’ war (Physalia physalis) is the most famous and spectacular member of the Blue Fleet. Questions to be asked and answered: What is the Blue Fleet? What obscure connection does it have to the Aquatic Ape theory of human evolution? Just how insanely weird is the Portuguese man o’ war anyway, and what strange connection does it have to another member of the Blue Fleet – the improbably beautiful sea swallow, a ferociously predatory sea slug?

    • 27 min
    Anelosimus eximius : The Social Spider

    Anelosimus eximius : The Social Spider

    Most spiders live solitary lives, but Anelosimus eximius is an example of a different lifestyle: colonial living. A very social spider, that maintains and defends a communal web and hunts in packs. And because it hunts in packs, it can target bigger prey than your average spider. But it is itself the target for some very unwelcome attention, from thieves and killers. 

    • 29 min
    Great Northern Tilefish : The Great Dying of 1882

    Great Northern Tilefish : The Great Dying of 1882

    The Great Northern Tilefish (Lopholatilus chamaeleonticeps) is a big, beautiful fish from the western Atlantic. It's one of those rare animals that is capable of reshaping its physical environment over vast areas. But it's also interesting for a rather unique reason. It was discovered, entirely accidentally, in 1879 and within 3 years of that discovery, something entirely unexpected and dramatic happened that involved millions upon millions of dead fish. 

    • 28 min
    Bone-House Wasp : A Halloween Ossuary

    Bone-House Wasp : A Halloween Ossuary

    The Bone-House Wasp (Deuteragenia ossarium) is recently discovered species of spider wasp that has some remarkable habits. So, three questions. What is a spider wasp? What is an ossuary? And what connects the two to make for a suitable Wild Episode subject? Oh, and can I come with a tenuous excuse to talk about Beowulf and Old English? (Spoilers: yes, I can). 

    • 21 min
    Ruppell's Vulture : The Seven Mile High Club

    Ruppell's Vulture : The Seven Mile High Club

    Ruppell's Vulture (Gyps rueppelli) is one of the biggest vultures in the world, but it's real claim to fame is that it is the highest flying bird on Earth. A fact which leads us into a discussion that may make this episode unsuitable for some listeners: bird strikes, and their consequences for both aircraft and birds. Ruppell's Vulture has one another claim to fame: it is a member of a group of birds that exemplifies more than most the catastrophic impact humans can have on the natural world. 

    • 29 min
    Bootlace Worm : Maximum Worm

    Bootlace Worm : Maximum Worm

    The world record for longest animal is held by the bootlace worm (Lineus longissimus), a Nemertean or ribbon worm from the North Sea. In fact, it's held by a Scottish bootlace worm that was washed ashore in 1864. But is that record reliable? How long do bootlace worms actually get? And what is a ribbon worm anyway?

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

wilkinson200996 ,

Really amazing for all ages!

Really enjoying these- quirky and hold the attention really well. Great for those already into natural history and those looking to hear something a bit different - and for all ages too. Recommend you give this a go!
Now I’ve been listening for a while I think Brian has established for himself a really unique niche in podcasting on the natural environment.

Habbahaa ,

Great podcast

A story weaving David Attenborough. Takes me to another realm.

yadunknow ,

My favourite podcast

Incredibly varied and interesting. Extremely well presented, each episode is a fascinating historical narrative of natural wonders, sprinkled with humour and humanity that will hook anyone with even a passing interest in the world.

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