Growth

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Tree Rings tell many Tales

Tree Rings tell many Tales

Examining ancient trees helps scientists get an amazing picture of Earth’s life, for trees are a record of their life time. By looking closely at the rings of a tree, scientists can not only tell how old it is; they can also tell you that in one summer in 1453 and again in 1601, there were freak cold spells. Tree rings, when radiocarbon-dated give a glimpse of certain aspects of prehistoric times. But what is radiocarbon dating?...

Excerpts From 'The world of trees'

This is a remarkable book on trees – trees which are not just ‘described’ to you in words as having branches, leaves and sweet-smelling flowers, but trees which you can actually ‘see’ as you read. Big trees, tall trees, stately trees….all come alive with the cries and activities of the numerous birds and insects living on them, the age old myths associated with them and the author’s personal comments, witty and insightful. Indeed, in many places, especially in villages in India, trees are quite inseparable from the way of life of the people....

Music-loving Plants and Music-giving Plants

Music-loving Plants and Music-giving Plants

Are your ferns drooping more than usual? Perhaps a bit of music may perk it up, for it is a known fact that music plays an important role in plant growth. But plants are choosy about the kind of music they want to hear. Experiments show that plants thrive if soothing instrumental music is played in the background. On the other hand they shrivel and die if exposed to heavy metal or rock music. And now a Japanese company has created a gadget that puts you in touch with the ‘feelings’ of plants....

Do Some Animals Farm?

Do Some Animals Farm?

We all live the way we do in villages and cities because a long, long time ago, the early humans gave up hunting for farming. They domesticated plant species by cultivation, ploughed the land and harvested the grain. That was the beginning of civilisation as we understand it. But, do you know that certain ant species were actually farming fungus years before humans learnt how to farm? For many millions of years, ants belonging to the attines group were farming and cultivating fungi in their anthill nests....

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