Saturday, May 21, 2011

Insect rolling for welfare - Dung beetle!

On walking along the one foot path in rural areas, I often find black beetles moving hurriedly with a small ball of earth. They actually rolled back the ball with their hind legs placed on it; at the same time they also walked back with their fore legs on the ground! These beetles are the Dung beetles (Orthophagus gazella, Scarab beetle, 'Piee vurutti vandu' in Tamil). The ball is nothing but bits of faeces or dung of cattle rolled into a sphere!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Leaf-drinkers in water scarcity!

In school class room it was taught that transpiration is one of the plant's physiological functions. But do we know that 'reverse transpiration' is also a physiological function? Yes, it is so - in certain plants! In them leaf takes in water and sends it to the stem - reverse of what we learnt and expect - root takes in water and sends it to leaves via stem. These plants are described as 'Leaf - drinkers,' as their leaves are 'drinking' water.

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