Territorial defense by the Taiwanese Kukrisnake

first_img © 2010 PhysOrg.com While territorial behavior is common in other reptiles, such as lizards, snakes normally rely on mobile food sources and rely on hunting. Once a meal is found, they move on. However, the Kukrisnakes of Orchid Island have found themselves a defendable source of food and they are standing their ground, especially the females.Orchid Island is home to many turtle nesting grounds and those nests are where the snakes have set up camp so to speak. These nests contain upwards of 100 eggs which take two months to hatch. This provides the snake with a food source that can last weeks without going bad.Researchers discovered it is usually the male snakes which find the nests first; however, if a female snake should happen upon the same nest, it is usually the female who wins out.Kukrisnakes have very large blade-like teeth and are very aggressive. They also fend off attackers by raising their tail in order to mimic another head. Unfortunately for the male snake, the tail area also contains their manhood. Male Kukrisnakes, having what is called a hemipenis, or twin penis, also evert these to further confuse predators. Unfortunately, when fighting a female with large teeth, it appears these male snakes would rather give up the nests than risk injury and loss of reproductive function, even though by size they are much larger than their female counterparts.Huang found however, if another female happened upon a nest already occupied by another female snake, they seem to stick together and share the contents of the nest. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Fragmented forests result in more snakes, fewer birds The Taiwanese Kukrisnake. Image: robferblue/flickr Explore furthercenter_img (PhysOrg.com) — In a first documented case of territorial behavior by a species of snake, a team led by Wen-San Huang of Taiwan’s National Museum of Natural Science and Cornell University discuss the Kukrisnakes from Taiwan’s Orchid Island in a report published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Citation: Territorial defense by the Taiwanese Kukrisnake (2011, April 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-04-territorial-defense-taiwanese-kukrisnake.html The Taiwanese kukrisnake. More information: Territorial behavior in Taiwanese kukrisnakes (Oligodon formosanus), PNAS, Published online before print April 18, 2011, doi:10.1073/pnas.1101804108last_img read more

Worms from hell identified far below the Earths surface

first_img Halicephalobus mesphisto was named after Mesphistopheles which is the literary nickname for the Devil. It was located in a mine some 1.3 km (0.8 miles) below the surface where the temperatures reach 37C (98.6F). This was believed to be a higher temperature than most nematodes could tolerate. H. mephisto measures 0.5mm and eats films of bacteria. It was found in the Beatrix gold mine some 240 kilometers southwest of Johannesburg.The Driefontein mines revealed two more nematode species. Plectus aquatilis and another unkown species from the Monhysterid order were located at 0.9 km (0.55 miles) below the surface at a temperature of 24C (75.2F).The most amazing discovery came from the Tau Tona mine where researchers discovered DNA from another unknown monhysterid. This DNA was recovered from some 3.6 km (2.24 miles) below the surface where temperatures reach 48C (118.4F).In order to rule out contamination and the possibility these nematodes were from closer to the surface, Borgonie tested the water’s chemical composition that the nematode was collected in and found levels of oxygen, sulphur, and other chemicals that were expected to have come from the source location. He used carbon dating and determined that the water had been isolated from the earth’s surface for 3,000 to 12,000 years. (PhysOrg.com) — In a study published this week in Nature, researchers Gaetan Borgonie from Ghent University in Belgium and Tullis Onstott from Princeton University announced the discovery of new nematode species living kilometers below the earth in several South African mines. Nematodes had been previously found much closer to the surface, but this discovery of deep-dwelling nematodes, or roundworms, are the first multicellular organisms to ever be found at these depths. Halicephalobus mephisto worm. Image credit: Gaetan Borgonie/University of Ghent This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Worms from hell identified far below the Earth’s surface (2011, June 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-06-worms-hell-earth-surface.html More information: Nematoda from the terrestrial deep subsurface of South Africa, Nature 474, 79–82 (02 June 2011) doi:10.1038/nature09974AbstractSince its discovery over two decades ago, the deep subsurface biosphere has been considered to be the realm of single-cell organisms, extending over three kilometres into the Earth’s crust and comprising a significant fraction of the global biosphere. The constraints of temperature, energy, dioxygen and space seemed to preclude the possibility of more-complex, multicellular organisms from surviving at these depths. Here we report species of the phylum Nematoda that have been detected in or recovered from 0.9–3.6-kilometre-deep fracture water in the deep mines of South Africa but have not been detected in the mining water. These subsurface nematodes, including a new species, Halicephalobus mephisto, tolerate high temperature, reproduce asexually and preferentially feed upon subsurface bacteria. Carbon-14 data indicate that the fracture water in which the nematodes reside is 3,000–12,000-year-old palaeometeoric water. Our data suggest that nematodes should be found in other deep hypoxic settings where temperature permits, and that they may control the microbial population density by grazing on fracture surface biofilm patches. Our results expand the known metazoan biosphere and demonstrate that deep ecosystems are more complex than previously accepted. The discovery of multicellular life in the deep subsurface of the Earth also has important implications for the search for subsurface life on other planets in our Solar System. © 2010 PhysOrg.com Possible new hope for crops battling parasitic infection Explore furtherlast_img read more

China releases 600 million wasps to combat moths

first_img The American White Moth, known in the U.S. as the Fall Webworm, (though some call them “forest locusts”) creates, during its larval stage, the familiar webbed nests seen on hardwood tree limbs all across the country. It is one of the few insects that have migrated from North America to other parts of the world. The Fall Webworm doesn’t generally harm the trees where it lives, though it does reduce the amount of leaves on them, which isn’t considered all that much of a problem until it moves to orchards where large swarms of them can actually totally denude a tree, leaving it with little means to collect sunlight for converting to energy for growing fruit.The American White Moth was first seen in China in Liaoning province back in 1979 and has been considered a pest ever since. This year alone, Chinese experts estimate that the moths have infested approximately 20,000 hectares of farmland and forest in and around the city where the insects were released.Professor Yang Zhongqi, a Chinese entomologist is credited with discovering that wasps, known as “chouionia cunea Yang,” could be used as a natural moth control vehicle when he found that a type of bee use their stingers to bore into the moth pupae and kill the larva inside in order to eat them. Zhongqi is also credited with giving the moth’s their Chinese name.Chinese entomologists breed the wasps on a huge scale employing silkworm cocoons, which they hang on trees in the areas where the moths are known to reproduce. Locals have given them the nickname “forest defenders” because of their ability to effectively control populations of the moths.In prior years, the wasps have been used to fight moth infestations in other provinces as well, and even in Beijing, and while releasing wasps does seem to be an effective and eco-friendly way to control the pests, experts warn that releasing wasps as a sole means of eradicating the American White Moth, is likely to be insufficient. (PhysOrg.com) — Chinese forestry officials have released some 600 million parasitic insects into the north China city of Baoding to combat the spread of the American White Moth that has been (in their caterpillar stage) eating the leaves off of forest and domestic orchard trees, as well as some farm crops. This is the fifth year in a row that Chinese officials have released wasps hoping to reduce the damage caused by the moths. Explore further © 2010 PhysOrg.com More information: Corrected version: 8/11/2011 6pm.via Xinhuacenter_img Can wasps help save Britain’s conker trees? This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: China releases 600 million wasps to combat moths (2011, August 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-08-china-million-bees-combat-moths.htmllast_img read more

Lolita Chatterjee breathes her last at 81

first_imgKolkata: Veteran Bengali film actor Lolita Chatterjee (Runu) passed away at a city nursing home on Wednesday. She was 81. Condoling her death, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted: “Saddened at the passing away of veteran film actress Lolita Chatterjee. My condolences to her family, friends and admirers.”Chatterjee, popularly known by her nickname Runu, acted opposite Uttam Kumar in Bibhas in 1964, in her inaugural debut. She had acted in Jay Jayanti against Uttam Kumar as well. In the 1970s, she moved to Mumbai and had acted with Rajesh Khanna, Mumtaz and Sharmila Tagore in Aap Ki Kasam, Victoria no. 203 and Talaash. She came back to Kolkata and joined jatra.In 2013, she acted in Gautam Ghosh’s Shunyo Awnko and played the lead role in Aditya Vikram Sengupta’s Jonaki.last_img read more

Delhi Medical Council probing negligence against two pvt hospitals

first_imgThe Delhi Medical Council (DMC) has started inquiry into a Guwahati resident’s complaint of “medical negligence” on the part of two city-based private hospitals, which led to his wife’s death. “We have started an enquiry into the matter. We will seek documents related to the case from the respective hospitals and examine them. The allegations are serious and need to be looked into,” said Girish Tyagi, Registrar at DMC. The complainant, Ankuran Dutta, has also written to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who in turn has forwarded his complaint to the Health Department.  Also Read – Man arrested for making hoax call at IGI airport”We have received the complaint from the Chief Minister’s Office. We will be writing to the two hospitals and get all the documents for further action in the matter,” A K Saini, a senior official at the Directorate of Health Services, said. Dutta’s wife Anamika, an assistant professor at Gauhati University, had undergone a minimal access surgery (gall bladder) on July 17 at Navjeevan Hospital in Pitampura in north-west Delhi. But as her condition deteriorated, she was shifted to Jaipur Golden Hospital in Rohini, where on July 19 she suffered several heart attacks within an hour and died, Dutta claimed. Dutta has also filed a police complaint. When contacted, a senior doctor at Jaipur Golden Hospital said, “We have spoken to the doctor and he is denying any medical negligence. There is an appropriate body which can comment upon it.” Despite several attempts, Navjeevan Hospital authorities could not be contacted.last_img read more

Three nabbed for exporting illegal psychotropic tablets to US Canada

first_imgKolkata: The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Eastern Zone has seized more than three thousand tablets of six different psychotropic substances and nabbed three persons for allegedly exporting the drugs illegally to the United States (USA) and Canada.The Director of NCB, Eastern Zone, Dilip Srivastav, informed that the exported drugs are used as sedatives in the US and Canada. Those medicines are legal in India only with a valid prescription of a registered medical practitioner. But these tablets are not meant to be sold in the US and Canada as per their regulations. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeSources said a few days ago, the Delhi unit of NCB informed the Eastern Zone unit about one person who was nabbed in Delhi for allegedly exporting medicines illegally. During interrogation, the accused informed that the medicines used to come from Kolkata. After investigation, it was found that the courier was booked from Kolkata. The Eastern Zonal unit immediately was informed.Upon receiving the informatio, a team was formed and investigation commenced. On September 24, the NCB team raided a flat at Maheshtala, 24-Parganas. During the raid, a person identified as Ganesh Pun was arrested and 3,161 tablets of six different psychotropic substances seized worth Rs 15 lakh. The substances identified are — Nitrazepam-10 mg, Tremadol-400 mg, Clonazepam-1mg, Lorazepam-2mg, Alprazolam-1mg, zolfresh/Zolpidem-10 mg and stilnoct/zolpidem- 12.5 mg. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedGanesh stated that he was in charge of packing and exporting the tabletsthrough courier.He also told the sleuths about two more persons who head this racket in Kolkata. On the night of September 25 and 26, a group of investigators raided a medicine shop at Shyamnagar in Jagaddal area. The owner of the shop identified as Sunil Agarwal was arrested. During a search operation, several kinds of psychotropic tablets were seized.While interrogating Agarwal, another name came to light. On the same night, a call center identified as Dream Advent Services at Poddarnagar in South City mall area was raided. Several incriminating documents were found. Though some employees were there at that time, the owner was not present. Some of the NCB team members immediately rushed to Purbanchal in Ruby hospital area and arrested the owner identified as Clement Philips.”Philips used to run his illicit trade from behind the cover of his call center. During daytime, his call center operated usually. Post 9 pm, the center used to receive orders from the US and Canada. After the orders were placed, the details were shared with Agarwal for procuring the tablets. After the procuring process was over, the tablets were sent to Pun for packaging and exporting through courier,” said Srivastav.last_img read more

Jakarta takes an initiative to bind India and Indonesia

first_imgJakarta – The Ministry of Tourism of Republic of Indonesia (MoTRI) is actively promoting Indonesia in the Indian tourism market through a sales mission (tourism roadshow) in India.The roadshow held in Mumbai on August 14 and New Delhi on August 17. Besides, it will be organised on Hyderabad on August 27. The event aims at increasing more transaction of tour packages between the Indonesian and Indian tourism Industry through B2B (table top) meetings. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfFurthermore, Badung – a region with the maximum tourism activities in Bali, will also hold a sales mission in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia in the cities of Chandigarh on August 20, Jaipur on August 22, Lucknow on August 23 and Kolkata on August 24. “These activities are meant to convey the importance we place on the Indian market,” said Sigit Witjaksono, Director of Promotion for South and Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa, Ministry of the Tourism Republic of Indonesia. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe Indian market bound for Indonesia has been skyrocketing in the last couple of years. In term of visitors, the number of Indian visits is increasing YOY. From January to July 2018 there were more than 340,000 Indian visitors to Indonesia as compared to the same period in 2017. This huge growth, however, leaves more to be desired. “We are not satisfied by merely good organic growth, we need to challenge ourselves and raise the bar,” remarked Nia Niscaya the Deputy Minister of Tourism Marketing, Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia. “For 2018, the Minister has set 700,000 visits as the target for the Indian market and that’s a huge 40% target increase from 2017’s,” added Niscaya. To answer this challenge, the Ministry is taking additional steps in order to ensure the target can be attained by the end of 2018. An effective way is to conduct joint promotion activities with big names in the tourism industry. For India, the MoTRI will start this joint promotion with big names in the Indian tourism business and one of them is MakeMyTrip.last_img read more