Teeth

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Long bony fingers

Long bony fingers

Somu loved to read ghost stories. Every time he paid a visit to the library, he got back a teeth-chattering horror tale. It was a signal that he was getting ready to play a scary trick on his friends. He was 10 years old. His parents had learnt to recognise the signs now. The days on which the slim boy’s cocker spaniel eyes shone brighter than ever, and his brown wavy hair seemed to have a movement of their own, they knew that he must have read a ghost tale and was hatching a plot to scare someone....

Why is a Hippopotamus called a River Horse?

Why is a Hippopotamus called a River Horse?

Among Africa’s unusual creatures is a barrel-shaped gigantic animal, the hippopotamus (plural hippopotami). The hippo is the third largest land animal after the elephant and the rhino. Slightly smaller but heavier than a white rhino, a hippo can weigh nearly 1,800 kg. The animal is huge and barrel shaped nearly 12 feet long and five feet at its shoulder, with a short thick neck and small ears. River Horses [Illustration by Anup Singh] Hippos, or to use their biological name, hippopotamus amphibious literally means ‘river horse’....

The Deadly King Cobra

The Deadly King Cobra

Belonging to the family Elapidae, the name Cobra is popularly applied to African and Asian snakes that are capable of spreading long ribs in their necks into a hood when threatened. There are six species of cobras: the Naja, the south African ringhal (Hemachatus), king cobra (Ophiophagus), water cobra (Boulengerina), tree cobra (Pseudohaje), and shield-nose cobra (Aspidelaps). The Deadly King Cobra [Illustrations by Amarjeet Malik] The king cobra or Hamadryad holds a record length of 5....

What Toothpaste did the Ancients Use?

What Toothpaste did the Ancients Use?

One of my earliest childhood memories of Delhi is seeing morning walkers, milkmen, or shopkeepers chewing away at the neem stick, much like a cow chewing the cud. It seemed strange that they should go to all that effort when readymade toothpaste was available. Neem (Azadirachta indic a) twig still used as toothbrush in many parts of India The world was divided into four kinds of people: those who used toothpaste and brush, and they were the elite; those who used tooth powder for which the index finger doubled as the brush; people who used indigenous “monkey-brand” tooth powders and lastly, those who used neem sticks which were two-in-one....

The Mouse who Lived in the Lion's Cave

The Mouse who Lived in the Lion's Cave

The king of the jungle, the lion, lived in a big dark cave at the foot of the hill. He was a good king, and used to hunt only when he was hungry. Every night, he would go out to hunt and bring back one animal to his cave. After eating to his heart’s content, he would go to sleep. In his cave, a little mouse had made her house too. She would wait for the king to fall asleep, and then come out to eat, the leftovers....

Why Do Rabbits have Buck Teeth?

Why Do Rabbits have Buck Teeth?

What is it that makes every child remember Bugs Bunny? Its toothy smile of course! All rabbits have huge buck teeth in front, and with good reason. Being vegetarians they have to make a meal of leaf, grass, or vegetable. The plants, on their part, are very smart. Over a period of time they have developed ways of protecting their leaves from such animals, for they need leaves to make their own food. Why Do Rabbits have Buck Teeth?...

How Can We Correct Crooked Teeth?

How Can We Correct Crooked Teeth?

Smile! A smile actually brightens up your entire face and is the most striking part of your face. But sometimes you are ashamed to smile. Why? Because you have buckteeth? Your teeth are crooked, stained? Have you seen some kids with a mouthful of metal? These are called braces. Today, doctors can work wonders with your teeth. They can straighten your teeth and put a sparkle on it. All this without dentures, mind you! Just as you go to a doctor with an upset stomach or an eye doctor to test your eyes, your teeth also requires attention and care....

The Snake with the Golden Teeth

The Snake with the Golden Teeth

There was once a man called Paolo Maria Encarnacao Esplendido. He lived at Manaos in Brazil. He was a very rich man. He owned two gold mines and a silver mine. You might think one got more money from a gold mine than a silver mine because gold is worth more than silver. But, as a matter of face, more money goes down gold mines than comes out of them, because people are always digging mines for gold in places where there isn’t enough to make it worth their while....

The Truth About Bats

The Truth About Bats

Bats are among the world’s least appreciated and most endangered animals, thanks to centuries of myth and superstition. Contrary to common misconceptions, bats are not blind, they are not rodents and they won’t get tangled in your hair. The truth is that bats are mong the most gentle and beneficial animals on earth. A bat is a winged mammal with the ability to fly. It’s ability to maintain sustained flight, unique among mammals, results from the modification of hand-like forelimbs into wings....

The Candy

It was a hot Tuesday afternoon in the month of October. The geography lesson was interesting but Sharmila was getting restless waiting for the class to get over. The ice candy man had come some time ago and his day’s quota would soon get over. He visited the school every Tuesday and Thursday to sell his delicious candies that the children waited for eagerly, every week. It was always a struggle for the teachers to hold on to the students’ attention during the last period of school on those two days....

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