The Asian elephant, Elephas maximus, has elaborate mating rituals. One of these is the oestrous walk by the female, in which she walks in front of the male alluringly. The male tries to put his trunk on her back, and the female chooses to either break into a run and leave the male behind or let him place his forelegs on her. Here, she can again choose to move away and dislodge the precariously positioned male or let him mount her. Testing four different hypotheses using videos obtained painstakingly from Kaziranga National Park in Assam, Karpagam Chelliah and Raman Sukumar from the Centre for Ecological Sciences found out that when it comes to deciding upon mates, females had the last word.
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Centre for Ecological Sciences
Using the data from greenhouse gas emissions of India's major cities, researchers have linked the emissions to different sources.
Most of the communication within an animal species first evolved with chemical signaling, using compounds called pheromones. Animals developed specialized cells that are capable of sending and receiving these chemical mixtures. This signaling helps them communicate in order to identify territory boundaries, individuals within a group, mate-attraction, prey-predation among different species and much more. Over a period of time, most species have evolved to generate sounds in response to a specific situation ― a phenomenon called acoustic signalling. This could be vocal, where the sound is generated by the animal's larynx, or non-vocal, where the sender generates a sound by clapping, scraping or rubbing parts of its body together or against its surroundings.
For the crickets that chirp loudly during evenings, bats are the main hunters. Male crickets start chirping at dusk to attract females to mate with; females are silent. One would expect that bats make straight for the males and make meals of them, but a recent study from IISc has shown that silent females are attacked much more.
Researchers from the Centre for Ecological Sciences at the Indian Institute of Science studied four estuaries along the western coast of Karnataka - the Honnavar division of Uttara Kannada district – and showed that the area has about 3 sq. km. of mangrove forests.
The entire country offers very suitable environmental conditions for the spread of the invasive species lantana. Genetic analysis shows that the species could be adapting to different local habitat conditions. This has been published in Annals of Botany.
Photographs by Souvik Mandal, a PhD student at the Indian Institute of Science, have won accolades in the BMC Ecology Image Competition 2014. His photographs of insects feeding on plants, and a pair spotted owlets sneaking out of a nesthole in a tress, have been mentioned in the 'Highly commended' category. Souvik captured both of them at the picturesque IISc campus.
The Hanuman langur’s long-standing identity crisis might finally be resolved. Researchers have divided the Hanuman langur into 3-4 different species based on genetic differences; this can help in identifying unique populations that could be threatened by human activity.