Millennium Post

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In the race towards growth, we often forget that humans are not the only living beings – it is imperative to have knowledge of other beautiful creatures and coexist in harmony

While eating, how do herbivorous animals recognise poisonous plants from non-poisonous plants?

Herbivores learn by watching their mothers and other group members eating. Herbivores must continuously taste foods, even familiar foods in familiar environments, as the nutrient content and toxicity of plants change frequently. If the food does not cause the animal to feel ill, then they will continue eating the plant. For instance, deer and antelope always nibble a tiny bit of a plant, then pause and then continue to eat it or not. As poisonous plants are usually bitter, they will discover that in the first nibble and move on. This way, they learn which plants are the best to eat. Elephants need a wide variety of foods to get all the nutrients. All elephants grow up in the herd and learn from their elders not only what can and can't be eaten but also where to go at what time of year to find certain foods. They will even dig up minerals from the ground in order to supplement their diets.

Do animals in the wild eat only when they are hungry?

They eat only when they can get food. That itself is not guaranteed, so they're often hungry.


How do fish keep warm in winter?

Fish are cold-blooded creatures. They take on the temperature of their surroundings. They are hot when their environment is hot and cold when their environment is cold. Fish who live in areas where the winters are cold move to deeper waters during the colder months or migrate to warmer waters. Some fish have a special protein in their blood which acts like anti-freeze to help them survive very cold water temperatures.

The layer of ice that forms on top of a lake, pond, river or stream provides some insulation that helps the water body retain its heat. During winter months, the warmer water is on the bottom of the pond as opposed to warmer months, when the warmer water is at the top of the pond. So, fish in these water bodies gather in groups near the bottom. Some species burrow into soft sediments and go dormant like frogs, but most fish huddle together in the deepest pools and take a "winter rest." In this resting state, fishes' hearts slow down, their needs for food and oxygen decrease, and they move about very little. They do not feed during the cold periods.

Some fish have a special protein in their blood which acts like anti-freeze to help them survive very cold water temperatures.

(Views expressed and information provided are personal. Send your questions to manekaanimallove@gmail.com)

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