Poison

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How Bad is the Sting of a Scorpion?

How Bad is the Sting of a Scorpion?

Ever seen a scorpion scurrying across with two crab-like claws and its tail high in the air? Well this tail is what has to be watched out for! The zing in the scorpion is in its tail for it has a sting. Scorpions are poisonous animals. They are arthropods belonging to the class Arachnida and are relatives of the spiders and ticks. Though they are considered creatures of the desert, you can find them in most climates, hot or cold....

Why are Some Reptiles Brightly Coloured?

Why are Some Reptiles Brightly Coloured?

Most animals have skin colour that makes them merge into their surroundings. They become near invisible unless you look very closely. But some reptiles such as the sea-snakes, coral snakes and frogs of Central and South America are brilliantly coloured or have bright bands like deep yellow, orange, pink on their bodies. They are easily visible among the green leaves or brown earth. This is because these animals are poisonous. The colouring is a warning to other animals, especially their natural enemies, to avoid eating them....

Deception and Mimicry Among Animals to Fool Enemies!

Deception and Mimicry Among Animals to Fool Enemies!

All living beings have enemies. And they all have developed interesting ways to keep them at bay. Some animals hide, others run, or just fly away when faced with danger. These are their defence mechanisms. Some animals can hide without moving. They have the unique ability to change their colour to merge with the surroundings. They become invisible to the predator. This method of defence is called “camouflage”. Some rabbits change colour with the change of season....

Spiders and their Magical Web

Spiders and their Magical Web

Most of us have come across cobwebs that accumulate in our walls, and ceilings when we dust our homes. The webs are under tables, cellars, and sometimes across branches and leaves at the park. All these cobwebs are the work of spiders. Spider webs are fine silken threads. Originally spiders spun silk to protect their eggs and to line their nests. But later they adapted to use this silk to weave a web and trap their prey....

The Deadliest Animal in the World

The Deadliest Animal in the World

Do you know, it is one of deadliest creatures in the world? No, it’s not the cobra. It is the sea wasp. It is a kind of jelly fish and is called the Chironex Fleckeri, commonly known as sea wasp. It has a bell-shaped body with long tentacles that trail behind it. These tentacles have hundreds of thousands of tiny cells, which contain a cobra-like poison. When a victim brushes against the tentacles, the poison is injected into his body, killing him in less than five minutes....

An invasion of toxic toads

Where: State of Queensland, Australia April 2, 2007: This is certainly not a toad you’d want to kiss. Not only will the toad not turn into a handsome prince, you may not be left alive to tell the tale. It’s as big as a small dog, has the body of a football and enough poison to kill a crocodile if it makes the mistake of having a Cane toad for lunch. It has been 70 years since the cane toad was first brought to northern Australia from South America to kill and eat the beetles that were spoiling the sugar cane crop....

Rats

Rats

Excerpts from ‘Rats’. First published by Vigyan Prasar, India Now at this time there was a great plague of rats in the London Docks. They were specially fierce rats, whose ancestors had come on steamers from Hong Kong along with tea and ginger and silk and rice. These rats ate all sorts of food which are brought to London in ships because we cannot grow enough food in England to feed all the people here. They are wheat from Canada and cheese from Holland, and mutton from New Zealand and beef from Argentina....

Godly Guardian for the Road

Godly Guardian for the Road

The road on which I travel to and from office every day is one of the busiest roads linking the Indian capital, Delhi, to its neighbouring state, Haryana. It is barely 11 feet wide for the last couple of kilometres before it snakes across to the neighbours. And it is on this stretch that you have a war every morning and evening. It is a war of space and speed – between cycles, scooters, auto-rickshaws, cars, lorries, tractors, buses and huge trucks....

Killing them Surely

Killing them Surely

Where: Surat, Gujarat, India November 4, 2000: When a member of the Parsi community dies, according to their religion, the body is not buried or consigned to flames. It is placed in the “Tower of Silence” for the scavenger birds or vultures to feed on them so that even in death the body is of use. In Surat, Gujarat, till a few years ago, the body would be eaten up in no time in the Tower of Silence or the Dhokma as it is locally called....

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