Birds say it with flowers, too, or at least a particular species does! The male Crestless Gardener Bowerbird, found in Australia and New Guinea, is the only animal, besides humans, that uses orchids to woo its mate.
During courtship, the bird builds a bower — a private room — and decorates its entrance with blossoms. It keeps replacing the wilted flowers with fresh ones!
Did you know that telescope was invented by a group of Danish children? In early 1600, while browsing around in an optical shop in Amsterdam the kids looked through two lenses at the same time, and they discovered that they could see distant objects as though these were up close.
The smart shopowner, Hans Lippershey, caught on to the idea and put two lenses in a tube, one at each end. He called the invention a “looker” and sold it in his shop.
We may have explored the surface of the Moon but we still don’t know enough about our deep, deep oceans. Recently scientists have discovered tiny organisms called foraminifera, living at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean's deepest trench, the remotest spot on the globe.
Foraminifera can live at a depth of 11,000 metres, and under pressure of 1,000 atmospheres. Their home lies further beneath sea level than Everest's peak rises above it!!
Keeping your teeth all spruced up is essential. You already knew that. But did you also know that you can avoid a stroke by doing so?
In a study conducted by the Columbia University it has been found that people with gum diseases are more vulnerable to atherosclerosis — narrowing of blood vessels — than those who have better oral hygiene. People carrying a higher level of the bacteria that causes gum diseases, also have thicker carotid artery.
Did you know that spiders make seven kinds of silks? One to wrap its eggs in, one to trap its prey and the other five to spin its web. It has been found that Dragnet‚ silk which spiders use to anchor the web, is stronger than a steel wire of equal weight.
Scientists are now trying to devise ways in which spidersilk can be used in bulletproof vests and to close wounds after surgeries.
The Wollemi Pine, a plant from the Jurassic era, has resurfaced. It was believed to be extinct for at least two million years. The only known examples were fossils 175 million years old.
Now this species is set for an amazing comeback. It survived in a single isolated Australian grove and has been revived. In 2005, small plants cultivated from the tree will be made available to the public.
Nepal is shrinking!! Gigantic geographical forces are practically squashing this mountain country, which borders India in the north. According to the Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) measurements, recorded in August 2004, Nepal is shrinking by 18 mm each year.
It is being pushed in from two sides by the Indian plate and Tibet. While the Indian plate moves 50 mm closer to Asia each year or about one mm each week, Tibet shifts 32 mm closer to Asia each year. Talk of double trouble!