Everywhere in Nature the small, weak and apparently helpless manage to survive by parasitism — sponging off hosts who may in their turn protect and help these hangers-on. Worms, ticks, fleas and various kinds of bacteria are common examples. But there are more spectacular cases among fish and other sea creatures.
On riverbeds, a species of fresh water clam tosses her young at passing fish to attach themselves with hooks. The host carries them about, nourishing them until they are adult enough to let go, settle as the bottom, and start another lifecycle....
Last year, a strange thing happened at a zoo in Beijing, China’s capital. When the day started, no one had any idea of what would happen some time later. As usual, there were many visitors to the zoo, especially children.
All of a sudden, a six-year-old girl caught hold of a peacock and squeezed it hard. She said she would free the bird only if her mother agreed to buy a Barbie doll for her. Her mother, who wanted the bird to remain alive, said yes....
Written by Salim Ali and Laeeq Futehally
Published by National Book Trust, New Delhi
Think of birds and you think of Dr. Salim Ali, India’s most famous ornithologist. He is the scientist who succeeded in communicating his passion for studying bird life in India to the ordinary Indian.
Generations of Indians have grown up on his wonderfully warm and crisp writings on birds and have squealed in delight on being able to distinguish a red turtle dove from a spotted dove....
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