Message in a pollen

    Here is a tricky problem that we plants face: for us to make seeds and baby plants, a pollen grain from the anther of one plant has to find its way to the stigma of another plant and so meet the ovule. But how can this happen when we can’t move? The answer […]

Nono: king of the mountains

by Ranjini Murali In the high mountains of Central Asia, where the climate is too harsh for even trees to grow, lives an animal almost as mythical as the Yeti. This is the Snow Leopard, the most elusive of the big cats. Peering through my binoculars, I was sure I was looking at this fabled […]

Hornbill Hills: the protector

by Swati Sidhu Budhiram sat hidden in the bushes, staring at a large tree… this time not to hunt Paga, the hornbill The rugged hills were invisible behind a thick haze. The river brought particles of ash that drifted with the water current as flotsam . Somewhere from within these hills came the sound of […]

Hornbill hills: the hunter

by Swati Sidhu When Budhiram, Tana and Kagum set out into the forest hunting for Paga…   Somewhere in the hills of Arunachal, a boy, a man and a dog hurried home in the failing light. The hills were not high, but were rugged and steep. Up close, different shades of green seemed to merge […]

Balcony birding

by Garima Bhatia   What is it about birds that attracts us? Is it a fascination with flight, or because birds are often brightly coloured and attractive to look at? Is it because watching birds through binoculars gives us an insight into an unknown world, or is it the thrill of clicking a beautiful photo? […]

Little green flesh-eaters

by Geetha Ramaswami   We are all too familiar with the mundane chore of gathering food from our environment to fuel our bodies, i.e., eating from the fridge. Now pretend that you are a plant, rooted to one spot, how would you manage? Sure, you can make your own food, but your roots have to […]

Call of the birds

by Garima Bhatia   Did-he-do-IT…. Did-he-do-IT… Did-he-do-IT …. Anjum woke with a startle on hearing the shrill noise piercing through the night, like a demented detective faced with the all important question of guilt. She made a mental note to ask Ma in the morning, covered her ears with a pillow and tried to go […]

Fancy sea fan

The beautiful sea fans are home to a variety of fishes, shrimps, feather star, shells and algae I am a big fan of sea fans! Why won’t anyone be, considering their wonderful shapes and colours? They are found amongst the reefs of the Indo-Pacific oceans, and make some of the most beautiful underwater sights. Sea […]

A Hydra-headed plant

by Geetha Ramaswami   When Lantana was brought to India, people didn’t realise that it would soon become a formidable weed in our fields and forests   Hercules, a hero from Greek mythology, was given the task of defeating a vile monster – the Lernaean Hydra. The Hydra’s venomous breath did not allow any creature […]

How corals lose their colour

by Shreya Yadav   Hot and polluted waters lead to a breakdown in the symbiotic relationship between the coral animal and algal plant, resulting in coral ‘bleaching’ The coral animal and the algae that live inside it evolved together for millions of years to form the reefs we see today. Even though they were nearly […]