Wildlife & Biodiversity

Global Eco Watch: Tree frogs create auditory illusion to find mate without being eaten

Down To Earth brings you the top happenings in the world of global ecology

By DTE Staff
Published: Sunday 10 May 2020

A new research on May 5, 2020, by Purdue University in the United States has found that treefrogs create an ‘auditory illusion’ to protect themselves while trying to find a mate.

The frogs become easy targets for predators and parasites when they send mating calls. But they have found out this unique way to protect themselves.

Male treefrogs essentially overlap their mating calls with those of their neighbours. When this happens, an auditory illusion takes place and predators are more attracted to the leading call, leaving other frogs to find mates without risking their lives, according to the research.

This is called the ‘Precedence Effect’, according to the scientists who carried out the study. Humans experience it too. When we hear two short sounds in quick succession, we assume the sound is coming from the source of the first one.

Scientists find new method to deliver medicine to plants

A team of scientists on April 26 found a new method to deliver drugs and medicines to plants, according to a media report.

The new device makes use of microneedles sitting on top of a silk-based biomaterial patch. The device can deliver medicines directly to the circulatory system of plants.

In contrast, pesticides, that are sprayed on plants might travel between the roots and leaves.

The scientists were motivated to work on the project in part due to the citrus greening disease in the US, to which a solution has not been found still. If allowed to go unchecked, the disease can destroy the $9 billion fruit industry in the United States.

Before the device came out, plants were administered medicine by pesticide, which did not reach the roots or through large needles which could cause damage to the plant.

Melanistic leopard spotted in Goan wildlife sanctuary

A melanistic leopard or black panther has been photographed recently near a water hole in Goa’s Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary, according to a media report.

According to environmentalists, the sighting was possible because of the sanctuary’s proximity to the Kali Tiger Reserve in Karnataka, that provides protection to big feline species including tigers and leopards.

Melanistic leopards are found in Netravali, but more towards the Maharashtra and Karnataka side, the environmentalists said.

They also noted that a lack of human activity owing to the nationwide lockdown in the wake of the novel coronavirus disease could have caused the sighting.

However, this is not the first time a melanistic leopard has been seen in Goa. The first sighting was in 2004, according to a member of the forest department.

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