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Ecology

Bengaluru | Aug 12, 2020
Pierrot butterflies take scientists from museum collections to the outdoors and back!

In a study, researchers have resolved the taxonomic challenge of butterflies in the Tarucus genus, also called Pierrots.

General, Science, Ecology, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Aug 11, 2020
Toxic pollutants in the air are taking the toll on pollinating insects

For years, chemicals in pesticides were thought to be the culprits, leading to the mass death of insects. Now, a new study has found that toxic pollutants in the air are equally responsible for this misery. Much like in humans, polluted air is affecting the survival, behaviour, health and genes of pollinating insects, honey bees in this case.

 

General, Science, Ecology, Deep-dive
Thiruvananthapuram | Aug 10, 2020
Amidst the alluring colour and scents, here’s how butterflies pick their flower

Plants have many tricks in their hat to attract pollinators—vivid colours, attractive scents, exciting shapes and patterns, heat and also electric potential. But what is fascinating is how these pollinators process these attractive cues from various plants to pick which flower to visit. If you love chocolates, which one would you choose in a big bag of assorted chocolates? Well, most pollinators must have a similar dilemma. Now, a recent study throws some insights into how insects process so many cues from flowers.

General, Science, Ecology, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Jul 30, 2020
Confined without boundaries: The tale of the Andaman day geckos

The big, bright, green-coloured Andaman day gecko is a sight to behold; only that, you have to go all the way to the Andaman Islands to get a glimpse of it. Endemic to the islands, these geckos live in trees and are active during the day. Thanks to cash crops grown on these islands today, they can be found in plenty, feeding on bananas, coconuts and betel nuts. They belong to the genus called Phelsuma, believed to have evolved from Madagascar, an island about 6000 km away from the Andamans! A new study has traced their evolutionary history and has thrown some light on how they differ from the other geckos in the Andamans.

General, Science, Ecology, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Jul 29, 2020
Do differing opinions affect the management of human-animal conflicts?

People see human-animal conflicts as a fight between two species on opposing sides. However, in reality, the human aspect also has multiple dimensions. In some cases, there are two groups—the affected public—and the forest department staff, who manage and mitigate it; in others, more such groups. One of the frequent human-animal conflicts is that between humans and monkeys, especially the rhesus macaque, whose population is widespread in many cities. Now, a study by researchers shows that differences in people's opinions on mitigating such conflicts could instead be adding to the conflict.

 

General, Science, Ecology, Society, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Jul 20, 2020
Right or Left: Elephant calves pick their ‘trunk handedness’ early on in life

A new study by researchers investigates how and when calves learn to use their trunks.

General, Science, Ecology, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Jul 17, 2020
In a Nicobar long-tailed macaque troop, does rank determine who grooms whom?

The Nicobar long-tailed macaque is a species of monkeys endemic to three islands of the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago. Found in troops that consist of an alpha male and female, there is a system of hierarchy, as is seen in all group living animals. While adults are further categorised as beta individuals and subordinates, juveniles and infants also form a part of the troop. In many social animals, like the macaques, the ranking of an individual determines the role they play on other activities within the group. In a recent study, researchers have investigated if an individual’s rank has any effect on how the members groom each other.

 

General, Science, Ecology, Society, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Jul 16, 2020
The sorry tale of snakebites in India

Incidents of snakebites and resulting deaths are no rarity in India, which accounts for half the world’s deaths due to snakebites. Now, a new study claims that India has witnessed an estimated 1.2 million deaths due to snakebites between 2001-2020. 

General, Science, Ecology, Society, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Jul 14, 2020
Understanding the basis of the amazing association between butterflies and ants

For what would a butterfly depend on ants? A recent study explores a complex relationship between an ant and a butterfly.

General, Science, Technology, Ecology, Deep-dive
Chennai | Jul 9, 2020
Researchers discover a new species of ribbon worm from Chennai’s Kovalam beach

Tetrastemma freyae [Image credits: Mohandhas S Vignesh]

General, Science, Ecology, Deep-dive
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