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Tuatara, a reptile living in New Zealand, has a unique way of chewing its food, say scientists who have studied its jaws in detail

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...o a changing world – and changes in available prey – over more than 200 million years. A computer model of the tuatara, recreating its jaws as it munched on prey, has revealed that it chews like no other land animal. This seems to allow it to “slice up” food that is too big for its mouth. Tuatara, a reptile living in New Zealand, has a unique way of chewing its food, say s...

Japanese Emperor Akihito has undergone a successful heart bypass operation at the University of Tokyo Hospital

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Japanese Emperor Akihito has undergone a successful heart bypass operation at a hospital in Tokyo, the palace says. Emperor Akihito’s surgery lasted just over five hours at the University of Tokyo Hospital. The emperor, 78, who has suffered from poor health in recent months, plays a largely ceremonial role but is respected deeply by many Japanese. Akihito ascended the throne in 1989 following the...

Asian markets have had a mixed reaction to the nuclear test carried out by North Korea

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...Nishi of SMBC Nikko Securities. “While currency moves have been sensitive to officials’ comments in general, people thought any comment from the G20 would trigger yen buying. “But such worries are receding as she [Lael Brainard] said she supports Japan’s efforts to end deflation,” he added. The Japanese currency fell nearly 2% to 94.25 yen against the US dollar and...

Asian stock markets have continued a global rally after New York's main Dow Jones share index hit a historical record high

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...ing political problems and slower corporate profit growth. In Asia on Wednesday, the main indexes in Japan and Australia hit their highest levels since September 2008. Japan’s Nikkei was 1.1% higher in early trading while Australian shares were up 0.9%. Shares in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore also posted gains. The dollar eased 0.2% against a basket of key currencies while copper and cru...

Sony has unveiled Xperia Z, the thinnest tablet computer of its kind

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Sony has unveiled Xperia Z, the thinnest tablet computer of its kind. The Android-powered Xperia Z is 0.27in (6.9 mm)-thick. That is 0.01in thinner than Apple’s iPad Mini despite featuring a bigger 10.1in screen. Sony Xperia z launch coincides with news that LG is releasing a 5 in handset – the Optimus G Pro – making it the latest to offer the so-called “phablet” for...

China has become the world's second-biggest movie market in 2012

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...ite for product. Our films have done consistently well there.” The US movie industry has long complained that the limit fuelled demand for pirated copies of films, which are widely available in China. Related search articles:biggest movie market after the US what movie is being filmed in lafitte twighlight movie for 2014 Si Robertson coming to Richmond Virginia parker movie cars used movie...

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak is visiting islands also claimed by Japan, in a move set to raise diplomatic tensions

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...eung Island before flying on to the disputed area, his spokeswoman said. Lee Myung-bak’s visit comes with the two countries’ football teams due to play off for the Olympic bronze medal later in the day. It also comes shortly before South Korea marks the anniversary of the end of Japanese colonial rule. Disputed islands: • Known as Dokdo (Solitary islands) in Korea, Takeshima (Bamboo is...

Mitsubishi Materials plant manufactures polymers and uses a number of highly-volatile chemicals including hydrogen and chlorine

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A huge explosion at the chemical factory Mitsubishi Materials in Yokkaichi city, central Japan, has killed at least five people. Other 12 people have been reportedly injured. The blast occurred in the afternoon at the chemical plant in Mie prefecture. Maintenance crews were cleaning out a heat exchanger used in the production of silicon products when the blast happened, officials said. It is not...

Tardigrade, known as water bear, is dubbed nature's greatest survivor, being almost invincible

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...re’s greatest survivor”, being almost invincible. Tardigrades are some of the most fascinating animals in world because they can live happily in the most extreme conditions. While not the most attractive creatures, the small, segmented animals come in many forms – there are more than 900 species of them – and they’re found everywhere in the world, from the highest mountains...

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in New Zealand has trained three dogs to drive in an attempt to show the public how intelligent they are

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An animal welfare group in New Zealand has trained three dogs to get behind the wheel in an attempt to show the public how intelligent they are. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will put them to the test in a live broadcast next Monday. The dogs have been trained over eight weeks in specially made wooden carts which they have been driving around inside an indoor test lab. They...

HBO is being sued by Barbara Casey who claims she was unfairly dismissed from horseracing drama Luck

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...ly dismissed from horseracing drama Luck. Luck, which starred Dustin Hoffman, was axed after several animals died. Barbara Casey, ex-director of the American Humane Association (AHA) film and production unit, says producers “engaged in ongoing, systematic and unlawful animal abuse”. An HBO statement said precautions were taken “to ensure that our horses were treated humanely̶...

Charla Nash, who lost her eyesight, lips, nose, and hands when she was mauled by a chimpanzee in 2009, has been denied permission to sue Connecticut state

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...ticut. Her family sought permission to sue for $150 million but was denied on Friday by state Claims Commissioner J. Paul Vance Jr. Connecticut has “sovereign immunity” from lawsuits unless they’re allowed by the commissioner. Charla Nash’s lawyer had said the state should be held responsible for failing to seize the animal before the attack, because it was warned the animal was danger...

Olinguito and is the first new species of carnivore to be identified in the Western hemisphere in 35 years

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...he Smithsonian Institution. The trail began when zoologist Kristofer Helgen uncovered some bones and animal skins in storage at a museum in Chicago. “It stopped me in my tracks,” said Kristofer Helgen. “The skins were a rich red colour and when I looked at the skulls I didn’t recognise the anatomy. It was different to any similar animal I’d seen, and right away I thou...

Activists for animal rights have demanded a boycott of Liam Neeson’s new film, The Grey, after the British actor revealed he ate wolf stew to prepare for his role

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...e reluctant, Liam Neeson revealed that he “went up for seconds of the wolf stew”. Furious members of animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said in a statement: “Neeson’s stance on kindness to animals is sorely out of step with the rest of the world.” And arguing that instead of being predatory, wolves normally shy away from human contact, PETA urged cinema-goers: “...

Joe Biden has arrived in Beijing for meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang

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...er China’s newly-declared air zone, which covers East China Sea disputed islands controlled by Japan. Joe Biden arrived from Tokyo, where he reaffirmed the US alliance with Japan. The vice-president attended an official welcome ceremony in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People where he met China’s Vice-President Li Yuanchao, and said China and the US should expand practical co-opera...

IOC has asked South Korea to bar Park Jong-woo from the bronze medal ceremony after he held up a political message after the team beat Japan

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...ark Jong-woo from the bronze medal ceremony after he held up a political message after the team beat Japan South Korea won the Olympic football bronze medal by beating Japan 2-0. The IOC says that after the game, a player was photographed brandishing a sign allegedly asserting South Korea’s sovereignty over the islands. The committee urged the South Korean Olympic committee to take “sw...

Fugu, or blowfish, a Japanese delicacy, is so poisonous that the smallest mistake in its preparation could be fatal

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...nts. Miura-san’s skill is therefore highly prized. Fugu chefs consider themselves the elite of Japan’s highly competitive culinary world. He started as an apprentice in a kitchen at the age of 15. Training lasts at least two years but he was not allowed to take the practical test to get a license until he was 20, the age people become a legal adult in Japan. A third of examinees fail....

Two US B-52 bombers flew over disputed islands in the East China Sea in defiance of new China’s air defense rules

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...esman said the planes had followed “normal procedures”. The islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, are a source of rising tension between the two nations. Japan has dismissed the Chinese defense zone as “not valid at all” and two of its biggest airlines announced on Tuesday they would heed a request from the government in Tokyo not to implement the new rule...

Era of shoguns and samurai is long over, but Japan does have one, or maybe two, surviving ninjas

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Era of shoguns and samurai is long over, but Japan does have one, or maybe two, surviving ninjas. Experts in the dark arts of espionage and silent assassination, ninjas passed skills from father to son – but today’s say they will be the last. Japan’s ninjas were all about mystery. Hired by noble samurai warriors to spy, sabotage and kill, their dark outfits usually covered every...

US defence secretary Leon Panetta has warned territorial disputes in East Asia have the potential to become wider conflicts if provocations are not reduced

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...;s state media, and attempts have been made to control discussion on the internet. This reflects the Communist leadership’s ambivalence about such displays of nationalist fury: they can be useful to send a message to Japan, but could easily get out of control and spark wider expressions of discontent. There is plenty of scope for miscalculation in the coming days: Chinese fishing fleets are...

JAL and All Nippon Airways said they had replaced a number of batteries in the 787 Dreamliners over the past months

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Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways, Japan’s two top airlines, said they had replaced a number of batteries in the 787 Dreamliners over the past months. All Nippon Airways said it changed batteries 10 times. JAL said it did so in a “few cases”. Earlier this month, a battery in a JAL Boeing 787 plane caught fire, while an All Nippon Airways flight was forced to make an em...

Perugina's Baci chocolate bonbons are filled with hazelnut chocolate cream, topped with a whole hazelnut, and wrapped in a love note

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...white center, made crunchy with puffed rice and then doused in milk chocolate. 8. Peko Milky Candy, Japan Peko-chan Milk Candy is commonplace among children in Japan. The individually-wrapped candies are firm yet chewy and have a distinctive sweet milk flavor. 9. Lion, UK Another chocolate confection that hails from the UK. It was similar to a ToffeeCrisp, with caramel, crisp cereal, and a wafer...

Asian markets have dropped in early trading after two explosions hit the Boston Marathon finishing line killing three people and injuring dozens more

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...finishing line killing three people and injuring dozens more. Stock indexes fell by as much as 2% in Japan. South Korea and Australia also dropped, as did oil and gold prices. Earlier on Monday, US markets closed lower after the blasts accelerated a sell-off started by weak economic data. Analysts said that investors would be more risk averse in coming sessions and would focus on Asia’s prob...

Forty distressed pythons have been rescued by animal welfare officers from plastic storage bins in a Canadian motel room

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Forty distressed pythons have been rescued by animal welfare officers from plastic storage bins in a Canadian motel room. The snakes, ranging from one foot to 4.5 feet long, belonged to guests, a manager at the motel in Brantford, Ontario, said. The couple, who had checked into a room for one night, were out when police seized the animals on Thursday evening. Forty distressed pythons have been r...

The geep was born about two weeks ago on Paddy Murphy's farm in County Kildare

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A rare goat-sheep – a hybrid animal that is part goat and part sheep – has been born on a farm in the Republic of Ireland. The animal, referred to as a geep, was born about two weeks ago on Paddy Murphy’s farm in County Kildare. The unexpected arrival is thought to be the result of mating between a goat and one of the sheep farmer’s Cheviot ewes. Paddy Murphy said the cros...