If ever the Beatles were to be formed again, they would definitely agree to rope in field crickets, the distant rockstar relatives of grasshoppers, into their influential band. The male members of the Gryllidae family are noted in the animal world for the music they make with their forewings. As the sun goes down and the dark is welcome, the musical concert of adult male field crickets goes live. Some sing continuous trills, the others produce periodic chirps to enchant the ladies of their own species for mating.
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In the study of evolutionary biology, a lot of importance is given to trade offs in the survival of organisms. Questions like when should a predator hunt or when should it conserve energy, when should a prey remain solitary and when should it be social, are often always answered by weighing in the tradeoffs. Another important aspect of an organism’s life is passing on its genes and hence, many tradeoffs come into play when studying different mating systems seen in nature.
Fig trees are a magnificent keystone species that support a variety of life, both large and small. Scientists from the Indian Institute of Science study how these trees, with the help of their pollinators, are keeping Bengaluru’s green cover alive through genetic diversity.
Scientists from the Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR) in Tamil Nadu, and the Salim Ali School of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Pondicherry University, have studied the natural causes that led to the near complete absence of tigers within KMTR for over two decades.
Most of the knowledge a common man has about reptiles is based on stories and hearsay. It is high time we find out authentic truths and coexist with the wildlife that often finds its way to our homes, farms and other urban spaces. Let us learn about one of the most fascinating reptiles, snakes and appreciate how the human race is indebted to them.
Scientists from the Indian Institute of Science Bangalore devise a computational model to study how cooperation evolves in natural systems - from cells to large mammals. The study finds mobility, which was largely ignored before, plays a key role in the evolution of cooperation. Understanding mobility of cells in a medium could help us understand better the spread of cancer.
In a new study, scientists have found a revegetated coal mine to be an excellent site for long-term storage of carbon.
Coal mining was once the backbone of our energy requirements for the country. Even today, India is the fourth largest producer of coal and has the fifth largest coal reserves in the world. However, once coal has been extracted from a mine, the mines are usually discarded or converted into other industries or tourist attractions.
Captive elephants in the country are used for a range of tasks. From hauling timber in the forests to blessing devotees in the temples, they do it all. In a first-of-its-kind study by researchers at the A.V.C. College, Mayiladuthurai, Tamil Nadu, and Dharmapuram Gnanambigai Government Arts College for Women, Mayiladuthurai, have explored how being forced out of their natural and instinctive behaviour affects these majestic megafauna.
The Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) is an animal with soft reddish-brown fur, is only seen in the temperate forests of the Himalayas that includes parts of India, China, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar.
Nature is full of mind boggling interactions, some that seem they are straight out of a fiction novel! Studying a host-parasite-hyperparasite interaction between a species of moth and two species of wasp, scientists from the Ecology lab at the Department of Animal Science, Central University of Kerala, explore how wasps control the behaviour of moth larvae and also contribute to controlling their population.