Snakehead fishes are predatory ray-finned fishes belonging to the family Channidae. Found across Asia and Africa, snakehead fishes are important sources of food, and are widely cultivated by humans. Snakehead fishes are known survive on wet land for up to 4 days, and are considered to be a highly invasive species, with a single snakehead female capable of laying up to 150,000 eggs in just a span of two years. So far, 38 valid species of snakeheads had been recognised.
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Chillies are an indispensable part of the Indian platter and contribute heavily to our economy since India is a leading producer of chillies. A threat facing the chilli farmers is the fungal disease caused by Colletotrichum truncatum that affects the yield of the crop. In a new study, scientists have explored the mechanism behind the fungal disease, how the fungus actually attacks the plant and fruits and have also studied the genotype of the causative agents. This study, the researchers believe, can help develop mitigation plans and save farmers from an impending crop loss.
Have you ever been away from the city, away from the bustling activities and clattering? If you have, then, without all the noises of the city to distract you, you might have noticed how loud a seemingly empty field is! Birds, frogs and insects all join in on this chorus. The animals making these calls need to invest time and energy into making them, and hence are made for specific reasons, where every call counts. Often, in the animal kingdom these vocalisations are used to attract potential mating partners.
What do sword billed humming birds, fig wasps and acacia ants have in common? It’s the phenomenon of co-evolution, where these organisms are dependent on other organisms for survival and they reciprocally affect the other’s evolution.
Dams and other hydrological barriers are essential for the production of hydroelectricity and to direct water to water-deficient areas. But the presence of these structures are known to interfere with the ecology of the river, affecting the flora and fauna inhabiting it. The western ghats of India are home to many endemic fish species which are affected by these hydrological structures. Recent study from ATREE shows what can be done to ensure that the biodiversity in the Western Ghats is not lost to hydrological structures.
India is one of the 17 megadiverse countries in the world and home to a vast expanse of natural habitats from evergreen forests to grasslands. These natural havens have over the past years faced many threats from humans, but the largest threat that Indian wildlife faces is poaching. How can these vast expanses be constantly monitored in order to protect our unique wildlife? Researchers and forest officials have come up with many ingenious methods using the latest technology to take action against this threat. From realtime videos accessible on smartphones to DNA analysis - read more about how our wildlife is being protected from poachers.
Climate change and anthropogenic pressure are affecting natural environments world over. In this scenario how vulnerable are forests? If we keep growing at the rate we are growing now, what impact will it have on our forests in the years to come? Scientists from Indian Institute of Science and Wildlife Institute of India explore these far reaching questions in an Indian context. Their findings show that many forests are under considerable stress. The researchers say a perception change can help protect our forest.
Ever wondered if natural surroundings give out subtle hints before going through landscape level transformations? Scientists from Princeton University (USA) and Indian Institute of Science (India), have collaborated to try and figure out if there are any such hints or signs in nature, which can help in predicting transformations within grassland and woodland habitats in Serengeti-Mara.
It is in the best interest of a tree to ensure that its seeds are dispersed to far off places where they can get good sunlight and nutrition to grow. This is carried out by the help of frugivores, who eat fruits and transport seeds in their gut. A recent study illustrates how irreplaceable elephants are as seed dispersers using computer simulation and three species of trees with large fruits. The study shows that in the absence of elephants no frugivores can disperse seeds as far or as efficiently.
Why do we see certain species of animals in one place while they are absent in the neighbouring regions? How do species inhabit remote islands? Questions like these are central to our understanding of evolution and speciation. Exploring these question in a Sri Lankan context, scientists from National Centre for Biological sciences and University of Colombo studied how a two species of small passerine birds colonized the island nation. Through phenotypic and genotypic analysis they could show that not all Sri Lankan wildlife is a subset of Indian wildlife.