Dr Mary Hagedorn of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute tells Claudia Hammond about her work to save threatened coral species. Her approach amounts to an IVF clinic for these ecologically vital reef-building colonial creatures. But how do you collect sperm from a coral in the ocean?
Victoria Gill on how light pollution may pose a threat to corals, adding the onslaught from pollution, climate change and over-fishing at reefs.
Madagascar's Lemurs Cling to Survival
The famous lemurs of Madagascar face such severe threats to their survival that none of them may be left in the wild within 25 years. That stark warning comes from one of the world's leading specialists in the iconic animals. BBC News Science editor David Shukman hangs out with indri (the largest lemur species) and talks to Malagasy conservation scientists trying to save them.
Three Fab Fossils of 2015
Claudia and Victoria chat about three fabulous fossils announced during the year. They choose the two metre long lobster-like creature which fed like a filter-feeding whale: the feathered Velociraptor: and the snake which hugged its prey with its four tiny legs.
Peeping Ape Clue to the Origins of Speech?
Adam Rutherford talks to Zanna Clay about research into our closest relatives, the bonobos and the unique 'peep' noises they make and why they could provide clues to the evolution of human language. Plus the Chimp Edinburgh Accent Controversy.
Giant Rats help Doctors test for TB
African giant pouched rats are using their noses to help doctors in Mozambique. The company behind the diagnostic rats claim their rodents are faster than medical staff at testing patient samples for TB infection.
Victoria Gill on the feats of the bar headed goose, capable of flying at more than 7,000 metres, and how hummingbirds avoid over-heating despite flapping at 70 wing beats per second.
Is Commercial Lion Hunting Justifiable?
Earlier this year there was outrage when a dentist from the United States with a cross bow wounded a lion during a commercial hunting holiday in Zimbabwe. Mortally injured Cecil the lion was subsequently shot. While many are convinced that trophy hunting should be banned, there are others who argue that such hunting is actually necessary for conservation. The biologist, professor Adam Hart travels to Southern Africa to investigate the ethics of hunting in the light of cold economics.
Individual animals have their own personalities, according to zoologists. Personality is a trait which even extends to crabs, according to Mark Briffa of Plymouth University. Some are shy, others are bold. Some are conscientious, others aren’t so attentive to detail. Can animals really be said to have individual personalities and why does Nature favour a mix of temperaments in a species?
How Parrots Mimic Human Speech
Victoria Gill on a discovery which might explain why parrots are such good mimics, with comment from Disco the chatty budgie.
The Science Hour was presented by Claudia Hammond and produced by Andrew Luck-Baker with comments from Victoria Gill, BBC Science Reporter.