Babbler birds could shed light on human language

Language: The chestnut-crowned babbler.

Amina Khan 2:35 PM   Move over, parrots. There's another bird with some impressive "language" skills: the chestnut-crowned babbler, that lives in the Australian outback.

RSPCA takes 147 animals and birds from overcrowded Banks site

Birds and animals have been found in poor conditions at a Banks property.

Christopher Knaus   Thirteen of 147 animals and birds removed from an overcrowded site in Banks have had to be euthanised.

To save big cats from extinction, scientists want to redefine 'tiger'

There are up to nine commonly accepted subspecies of tigers in the world, three of which are extinct.

Robert Gebelhoff   Researchers propose simplifying the nine types of tigers into two, offering flexibility in conservation.

Deformed mutt named World's Ugliest Dog

Rascal, a Chinese Crested, is poses for a portrait after competing in the World's Ugliest Dog Competition in Petaluma, California on June 26, 2015. Quasi Modo went on to win first prize as the ugliest dog in the competition.  AFP PHOTO/JOSH EDELSON

A 10-year-old mutt named Quasi Modo, whose spinal birth defects have left him a bit hunchbacked, is the winner of the annual World's Ugliest Dog contest.

Women go ape over ripped gorilla

Giant male gorilla Shabani, weighing around 180kg, at the Higashiyama Zoo.

A giant gorilla with brooding good looks and rippling muscles is causing a stir at a Japanese zoo, with women flocking to check out the hunky pin-up.

Penguin-hunting fox shot dead at North Head

The lone fox that's been wreaking havoc on Manly fairy penguins is now dead.

Michael Koziol, Kate Aubusson    A lone fox's reign of terror in Sydney's northern beaches has come to an end, after rangers trapped and shot the predator early on Saturday morning.

Meet Julia Gillard - in feline form

Julia Gillard the cat, set to be part of Canberra's first cat cafe.

Kimberley Le Lievre   Meet Julia Gillard - in feline form.

Canberra owners turning to specialised cremations to farewell their pets

Melinda Parrett organised a private cremation for her dog, Remmington.

Emma Kelly   Pet owners are farewelling their furry and feathered babies in ways more akin to a human family member.

Manly's little penguin population under threat from lone fox

Little penguins are a common sight around the Manly area.

Kate Aubusson   A lone fox has killed 26 fairy penguins in Sydney's northern beaches, threatening the endangered colony during breeding season.

Sleepy hollows' shortage big drama for cockatoos

A female Major Mitchell's Cockatoo at the entrance to a nest.

Bridie Smith   If you think it's tough to break into the housing market in Melbourne, spare a thought for the state's Major Mitchell Cockatoos.

One bluebottle washes up on New Jersey beach, panic ensues

The bluebottle, or Portuguese Man O' War, that washed up on the beach in New Jersey.

Megan Levy   One small bluebottle has caused panic on the shores of New Jersey. 

Who you callin' bird brain?

Who's the cleverest of them all?

Kiona Smith-Strickland   Many scientists think the family of birds that includes crows and ravens may be among the most intelligent animals on earth, based on their ability to solve problems, make tools and apparently consider both possible future events and other individuals' states of mind.

Museum thrilled with rare shark catch

Trawler crew member James Owen with a basking shark caught off Portland.

Bridie Smith   A rare basking shark accidentally caught in the nets of a fishing trawler off Portland has had his body donated to science.

Field of screams swarms with 25,000 tarantulas

Top End tarantula: One of an estimated 25,000 diving arachnids, which are yet to be given a scientific name.

Jeremiah Ganicoche   It's not so much a field of dreams as a field of nightmares: A 10 kilometre floodplain infested with 25,000 tarantulas.

Six reasons a dog might attack a baby

Dogs and children can be the best of friends, but they should be supervised when together, experts say.

Inga Ting   A baby's smell, the noises it makes and even its gaze can contribute to the potential for a dog attack.

Activists pay thousands to rescue animals at dog meat festival

Animal-loving Yang Xiaoyun buying dozens of dogs at a market in Yulin.

Charlotte Middlehurst in Shanghai   ​Thousands of cats and dogs have been slaughtered at the Yulin Festival despite government promises to end the practice, which has been condemned internationally on grounds of animal cruelty.

Perth Zoo orang-utan Hsing Hsing marks 40th birthday

Perth Zoo's Hsing Hsing turns 40.

Diabetes prevented Hsing Hsing from getting cake for his 40th birthday, but Perth Zoo's beloved alpha male orang-utan still enjoyed a special treat to mark the milestone.

Men try to 'surf' whale shark

Whale shark,

Melanie Kembrey   Now whale sharks, the gentle giants of the ocean, have another thing to worry about.

Which snake would bite a hiker in the winter?

Red-bellied black snake

Georgina Connery   Bushwalkers have been warned to tread carefully because several snake species are known to bask in the midwinter sun.

Soccer-loving wedge-tailed eagle escapes from Armadale wildlife park

Onslow has been missing for nine days and his carers at an Armadale wildlife park are concerned.

Brendan Foster   A soccer-loving, wedge-tailed eagle has escaped from a wildlife enclosure in Armadale.

Farmhand risks life as 2500 pigs perish in shed inferno

Wonga piggery became an inferno on Wednesday, killing 2500 pigs.

Christine Speelman   About 2500 pigs were killed in a shed fire near Young on Wednesday, in the South West Slopes region of NSW, and a farmhand risked his life to save a further 1500.

A yappy ending for Mr Green

Police puppy Mr Green was found after being stolen from Gymea. He was happy to be back with Acting Seargent Matt Pople at Menai

Julie Power   A 17-year-old girl who took a police puppy says she is sorry, explaining she thought she was saving a rescue dog from the pound.

Kangaroos are left-handers by nature, researchers say

Research has found kangaroos are generally left-handed.

Henry Belot   A group of Russian scientists have been surprised to discover kangaroos are predominately left-handed, challenging existing understanding of marsupials.

The curious case of Ozzie the Sydney cat, who turned up in Northern Ireland

Just how Ozzie, aka Tigger, travelled from Australia to Northern Ireland remains a mystery.

Megan Levy   Australians have a reputation for being a well-travelled bunch. But the curious case of Ozzie the mystery moggy has taken this jet-setting trend to an entirely new level.

Cute octopus may be named 'adorabilis'

Researchers are looking for a name for this tiny octopus, which is undeniably adorable.

Some say she looks like a ghost from the Pac-Man video game, but she's anything but spooky.

Kangaroo shot through skull with arrow

A kangaroo shot in the head with an arrow has undergone surgery at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital.

A kangaroo with a joey in her pouch was shot through the head with an arrow and left for dead on the Sunshine Coast.

The trouble with finding Nemo

Anemonefishes and their host anemones are rare in some places along the Great Barrier Reef.

Nicky Phillips   Clownfish and their sea anemone homes may have starred in the popular animation Finding Nemo, but in our own Great Barrier Reef they're a rare sight.

Five dingo pups born at Australian Reptile Park just in time for school holidays

Five endangered dingo puppies

Five endangered dingo puppies have been born in at the Australian Reptile Park on the Central Coast.

'Festival of cruelty' to slaughter 10,000 dogs

Dogs are transported from across China to Yulin, where they are slaughtered for the Dog Meat Festival.

Michael Koziol   The fight is on to stop an annual Chinese event which is expected to involve the slaughter of more than 10,000 dogs.