Chester Zoo is set to reopen its doors next month and there are plenty of cute baby animals to see.
After a challenging year for Chester Zoo, the news from Boris Johnson last week that means outdoor attractions such as zoos and theme parks can reopen from April 12th was welcomed.
And over the course of lockdown, there has been a baby boom in the zoo too!
There’s everything to see from tree frogs to penguin chicks and rare baby lemurs.
Of some of the smallest to see are 12cm long baby Mongoose triplets that were born back in May last year.
Even smaller, a pair of Eastern Pygmy Marmosets were born in December measuring just two inches long at the time.
The babies are part of the most miniature primate species on Earth and are normally found in the rainforests of western Brazil, south-eastern Colombia, eastern Ecuador and eastern Peru.
Some of the largest species at the zoo saw new additions, like the birth of a rare baby rhino. The birth of the Eastern Black Rhino was celebrated globally as fewer than 1,000 remain on the planet.
You’ll also find baby penguins born at the start of lockdown last year, plus baby Great Green Macaw Parrot chicks that hatched back in April 2020.
These colourful birds live in the lowland forests of Central and South America with a global population estimated at fewer than 2,500.
In March last year, twin ring-tailed lemurs were born to parents Fiona and Dog.
Rare Mexican frogs were born at Chester Zoo in September – the first of their kind born in a European zoo.
As part of a successful breeding programme, 100 Mexican Leaf Frogs hatched at the zoo after keepers recreated the scorching conditions of their natural environment.
A critically endangered Western chimpanzee was born by 43-year-old Mandy in August at Chester Zoo. Normally found in West Africa, there are as few as 18,000 Western chimpanzees remaining in the wild.
It’s also the first subspecies of chimpanzee to be added to the list of critically endangered apes, making this birth vital to the future of the subspecies.
A critically endangered Bornean orangutan was born in October, a surprise to keepers as mum Leia had a negative pregnancy test just a few months prior.
Estimates suggest fewer than 55,000 Bornean orangutans remain on the island of Borneo in Indonesia, the only place you can find them in the wild.
Earlier last month, Chester Zoo bosses revealed that the zoo is losing £1.7m a month, totalling to £11.5m in losses if the zoo can reopen on April 12th.
Aldi named cheapest supermarket as it takes back crown from Lidl
Aldi takes back the top spot
Budget supermarket Aldi has reclaimed the title of cheapest supermarket for November, overtaking Lidl.
With the festive season here, Brits are continuing to look for ways to keep household costs down – and Aldi shoppers can be confident they’re getting the highest quality products at the lowest possible prices.
According to the latest Which? report, Aldi is once again the UK’s cheapest supermarket – with an average basket total coming to £76.77.
Each month, the consumer group compares the price of 131 groceries and household essentials across UK supermarkets to see which are the most and least expensive to shop at.
The latest research from Which? shows that throughout November Aldi was a huge £20.62 cheaper than the most expensive supermarket, Waitrose – for an equivalent basket of items.
Which? also revealed Aldi to be £12.77 cheaper than Morrisons and £11.02 cheaper than Sainsbury’s per basket.
Aldi also beat bargain rival Lidl to top spot, relegating the German supermarket to second place – where an average shop came in at just slightly more than Aldi, at £77.56.
Asda came in third place averaging at £84.42 per basket, Tesco fourth with an average £87.42 a basket and Sainsbury’s took fifth place at £87.79.
The most expensive supermarket was Waitrose where the average basket of shopping costs £97.39 – £20 more than shopping at Aldi.
But the popular supermarket can celebrate not one but two wins as it was also named the cheapest place to buy a Christmas dinner.
Comparing the cost of Chrimbo dinner staples including turkey, pigs in blankets, and Christmas pudding Aldi was found to be 4p cheaper than Lidl and £18 cheaper than the most expensive supermarket.
Julie Ashfield, Managing Director of Buying at Aldi, said: “Christmas can be an expensive time for everyone, with gifts to buy and families to feed.
“We’re thrilled that at such a crucial time Which? has officially named Aldi as the cheapest supermarket demonstrating our commitment to providing our customers with high quality food at everyday low prices.”
The Alien Eggs from the ‘90s that people were convinced could really give birth
Aliens invaded the playground
Those who went to school throughout the ’90s and early noughties will remember the little Alien Eggs you could buy from the shop that supposedly gave birth.
Kids would gather in the playground to show off their pet aliens, claiming that they had given birth to tiny alien babies. But not just one birth, multiple births to multiple babies.
Others would wonder and marvel as they hoped that their pet aliens would also do the same.
Conspiracy theories spread like wildfire across UK playgrounds with kids claiming theirs gave birth after ‘putting them in the fridge’ or ‘running them under water’.
Some kids would swear blind their Aliens were making babies. But did they really reproduce? Or was it just a myth?…
The squishy figures came in a plastic egg that fit in the palm of your hand and contained two aliens smothered in a gooey gel. They were a bit gross to be fair but kids were absolutely obsessed with them.
The weirdly fascinating Alien Egg launched in 1999 and was created by Martin Grossman, who got the idea in a ‘3am brainwave’, according to Vice.
By Christmas that year, he had already sold three million of the toys, and rumours about their ability to reproduce had taken over schoolyards across the nation.
Even the newspapers were jumping on the playground rumour bandwagon.
The Guardian reported in 1999 that a cleaner had found one in a tube station and mistaken it for a foetus. According to reports, he called emergency services and ambulance crews turned up to transport the supposed foetus to hospital where a doctor examined it to be sure.
Kids spread further rumours that the tiny jelly figures would open their eyes and come to life at the turn of the millennium, but that didn’t happen.
The ’90s was one strange era and the public had a weird fascination with all things extra terrestrial. Kids grew up on movies like Men In Black and Independence Day and listened to ‘Spaceman’ by Babylon Zoo.
People were watching Mulder and Scully come across unexplained happenings in the X-Files – popculture was rife with Aliens. Also, everyone was convinced that all computers would completely malfunction with a ‘millennium bug’ in Y2K.
As the clock struck midnight and 2000 came in, the world did not fall apart and the apocalypse did not come. Things just carried on. The only difference was you wrote ‘2000’ in the top corner of your school books instead of the 90-somethings you’d been used to.
And as for those Alien Eggs many of us were convinced could give birth, even into our adult lives, LadBible attempted to discover the truth (after all, the truth is out there).
They spoke to Julie Pittilla – who did PR for the Alien Egg since the start – who told them that the toys sold incredibly well, but as to whether they could give birth, it was ‘really out of the knowledge of mere humans’…
Expert reveals best time to see ‘impressive’ full Beaver Moon in sky tonight
This ‘impressive’ full moon is set to light up the sky tonight
As the temperature has noticeably dropped and winter is well and truly here, an eerie-looking full Beaver Moon will illuminate the foggy night sky tonight.
Tonight (November 27th) will be a full Beaver Moon and this striking vision will be visible in the sky from the late afternoon as evenings are now getting dark much earlier.
This full Moon is extra special as it marks the last one before Christmas and the penultimate of 2023.
This winter full moon’s name is believed to be derived from the time of year when beavers retire to their dens in anticipation of the winter months, as they gather and store their supplies.
It is also believed some Native American tribes as well as American colonists called the November full moon the Beaver Moon because this was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs.
An alternative name for November’s full moon is the Frost Moon, which was also coined by Native Americans – which makes sense as the winter frost begins to set in.
The best time to see tonight’s dazzling display will be just after the Moon rises, while it is still close to the horizon and appears to be much larger than normal.
Dr Baskill, astronomer and lecturer at the University of Sussex, told BBC Science Focus: “You have a second opportunity to admire the full Moon hugging the horizon when it rises in the north-east as the Sun sets later that same day.
“Full Moons always occur when the Moon is on the opposite side of the sky to the Sun, and it is fully illuminated by sunshine – which is where the name ‘full Moon’ originates.”
As the Moon rises above the horizon it may appear larger than normal, although this is just an optical illusion.
However, Dr Baskill promised it would be an ‘impressive sight when it’s low on the horizon’.
The typical northern weather may make the full Beaver Moon less visible in the sky as cloud cover obstructs our view. However, we may still be able to catch a glimpse of this spectacular sight with the odd break here and there.
Stargazers across Manchester, parts of Wales and the South West may stand a good chance with clearer skies than London and the South East – as these areas have been told to prepare for wet weather.
Aside from the skies, stargazers will probably want to wrap up warm as they look out at the impressive moon, as temperatures are expected to drop to 5C.
Beaver Moons happen in November, making the next one not until around this time next year – so remember to look up and don’t miss out!