Monday, November 26, 2012

Green seed pod? No, Green Vine Snake!

In childhood, we used to talk about the exciting stories that we heard - like that of snakes and ghosts. Out of the snake stories there was one that of a green snake that strikes at eyes when one approaches it! It is the Green Vine Snake (Ahaetulla nasuta, Green whip snake, 'Patcha paamboo' or 'Kankotthi paamboo' in Tamil).

Friday, November 9, 2012

Colourful Coppersmith Barbet

One day at forenoon a curious sound was heard somewhere nearby my house. It was like this: 'tok . tok . tok' repeated for a long time. On careful search outdoors, it revealed the source of it: a bird called Coppersmith Barbet (Megalaima haemacephala, Crimson-breasted barbet). It is called so, because it has its 'call' that resembles the sound produced by a copper smith when he strikes a metal with hammer. It is seen as a small bird like a sparrow; but on closer view its bright colours are revealed.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hippopotamus lives as a frog!

As school kids, we wondered about an animal that lives in water. We imagined it then as a buffalo lying in tank and taking bath. It is the Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius, 'Neer Yaanai' in Tamil meaning 'water elephant'). When we saw it in a zoo then, it resembled a large sized pig, that is lying in mud avoiding sun's heat! Submerged in water, it was also like a frog or a crocodile, showing only its nostrils, eyes and ears above the water surface.
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