The plan to pollinator attraction

If you think superficial colours, looks are the only things that attract the insects to the flowers, you are mistaken. There is a lot more going on there. We have learnt in the previous post how the colour of the flower can be a major attraction point to insects. The fine lines on the petals…

Can the African Jacana Walk on Water?

Blessed with long slender legs and interestingly long toes that make their walking look classy, the African Jacana is quite incredible to look. While they have not yet mastered the art of walking on water, these ‘Lilly-trotters’ walk on floating plankton, grass and water lilies. As the weight of the bird is supported pushes the…

What Do Ancient Insects Preserved in Amber Tell Us?

For scientists, plant resin is exciting. Plant resin is one of the most versatile and used products in the world. The resin contains a bunch of organic compounds known as terpenes, which are phenolic and volatile. When the resin fossilizes over a very, very long time, the heat and pressure drive out the terpenes from…

The Aerial Dance – Murmuration

Murmurations are a large group of starlings that twist, turn, swoop and swirl across the sky in heavenly shape-shifting clouds. Earlier in the evening, small groups of starlings from the same area come together above a shared nest. The group moving becomes larger, moving in unison in an aerial dance tosses to the grand outlines…

Can plants call for help?

With large wings that open out flat and two bright blue eyespots that stand out on a white-grey body, the majestic hawkmoth looks majestic, especially with the five yellow-orange sports. Though they are harmless to humans and largely survive by drinking nectar from flowers, they can seem friendly. But their larve have a menacingly different…

Why Are Yoga Asanas Named After Animals?

Dog, cobra, cow, cat and many other animals find a mention when it comes to lending their name and posture to various yogic poses. Some of the poses or asanas also depict the birds. While it is interesting that these asanas are named after animals, it is not clear if they were named so just…

Do Plants Produce a Slippery Substance To Keep Ants Away?

Although the ants often mutualize with seed dispersals for plants, they rarely participate in pollination. More often than not, when it comes to flowers, the ants negatively affect crops that act as nectar thieves and scare away with their aggressive presence of legitimate pollinators. Therefore, it is useful for nectar plants to develop mechanisms that…

Is It A Leaf Or An Insect?

What if leaves can walk? When you look at a leaf during this season that seems to walk and nibble at other leaves, you might find a small face and pointy legs. When a giant Malaysian leaf insect is nibbling on the leaves of a guava or mango tree, you’ll have to look closely. These…

Can Ants Shrink and Regrow Their Brains?

For most ant colonies, there is a simple hierarchy: a single queen lays all the eggs, and a caste system of workers manages everything else – food gathering, baby ants, war, etc. The rest of the ants are sterile, only males & queens can reproduce. The colony normally dies when the Queen dies. The Indian…

How Does the Octopus See Colour?

We know that octopus is a very smart marine creature. Octopus’ level of self-expression, problem-solving, and astuteness is very high. Of course, vision is a very crucial part of living life. An earthworm is a successful creature, yet the earthworm is blind. In the case of octopuses, they had only a single type of photoreceptor….