The words ‘insect migration’ bring to mind the vibrantly coloured monarch butterflies, making their way from Mexico to the south of Canada by the tens of thousands. Less conspicuous but just as spectacular is the migration that takes place across the Indian Ocean, which is believed to be the longest insect migration ever recorded.
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Footprints are the physical evidence of someone’s presence at a particular location. One such footprint is the carbon footprint; a unique and disastrous footprint left by us humans on Earth! It is expressed as the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2), generated as a consequence of our activities on Earth’s ecological surroundings. Estimating the carbon footprint of an individual is a tricky business. Traditionally, sum of all the possible emissions from various activities in one’s life is used to calculate one’s carbon footprint.
Have you noticed the smell of the air just after a rain - the fresh earthy smell that take us back to our childhood, that inspired a lots of poets and writers to flourish with their creativity?
Frogs have been around since the age of the dinosaurs, having survived four mass extinctions. Due to their remarkable ability to adapt to extreme conditions, they have thrived in almost all landscapes around the world from deserts to tropical rain forests, with some frogs even found in the Arctic circle. However, they are highly sensitive to changes in the environment. The world’s frogs are disappearing fast.
Whizzing and whirring past us are these insects that most of us remember as ‘helicopters’ of our childhood. Often subjected to our harsh fascination, these winged beauties were tied a string to their bodies, and flown around. Dragonflies and damselflies, collectively known as Odonates, were once as interesting to us as dragons and damsels of stories. Yet today, we barely have the time to notice these creatures.
The human brain is an extremely complex network of gazillion of nerve cells. This complexity of the brain serves to its advantage. The human brain can store more information than a supercomputer in the tiny space between our ears. Our brain can perform complicated calculations like image recognition in a split second, which the best available computers still aspire for. On the other hand, we don’t stand a chance against a basic calculator to perform long mathematical calculations.
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.
Ever wondered how an ATM card stores information? Most of us are aware that the black strip at the back of the card plays an important role in this process. How it works though, isn't as common a knowledge.
The black strip found at the back of most smart cards is essentially a band of magnetic material. Different materials respond differently to a magnetic field. Iron for example, gets ‘magnetized’ in the presence of a magnet, whereas a piece of wood does not.
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.
When we think of diseases that come to us from animals, rabies and AIDS are the most common ones that pop into our heads. Rabies is one of the most common viral zoonotic infections. Some of the widely known facts about rabies are that it makes you a slobbering, aggressive madman, it’s acquired by the bite of an infected dog and that it kills you.