Millennium Post

Knowing the species

Apart from knowing animals around us by names, it is important to know the what, how and when influencing them

Knowing the species

Do animals have blood groups?

Yes. As long as the animals in question have blood in them, they will have species-specific 'blood groups'. Thirteen types have been identified for dogs, eight for horses and three for cats, etc. The blood groups of animals are based on proteins that sit on the outside of red blood cells. In dogs there is a system called DEA 1.1, 1.2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. In cats we also have A and B but they're not the same as A and B in human blood systems. Horses have groups including A, C, D, K, P, Q and U. Sheep have A, B, C, D, M, R and X. Goats have A, B, C, M and J.

What are invasive species?

An invasive species is any kind of living organism – an amphibian, plant, insect, fish, fungus, bacteria, or even an organism's seeds or eggs – that is not native to an ecosystem and causes harm. They can harm the environment, the economy, or even human health. Species that grow and reproduce quickly and spread aggressively, with potential to cause harm, are given the label "invasive."

For instance, in India, the most common example is Prosopis juliflora known as Ganda Bawal or the Mad Tree which has taken over most wastelands. Another one is the dangerous Congress grass or Parthenium which gives eczema and asthma.

They are primarily spread by human activities, often unintentionally. People and the goods we use, travel around the world very quickly and they often carry uninvited species with them.

Ships can carry aquatic organisms in their ballast water, while smaller boats may carry them on their propellers. In addition, higher average temperatures and changes in rain and snow patterns caused by climate change will bring in invasive plant species.

What's the point of putting dogs back after sterilisation? Doesn't the problem just continue?

No, when dogs are sterilised and put back in their own area, the population and the problems caused by dogs reduce. Here's how:

Each dog guards its own territory and does not allow new dogs to enter.

Since they are all neutered, they no longer mate or multiply.

The main factors leading to dog aggression – migration and mating – are eliminated. So dog fights reduce dramatically.

With the decrease in fighting, bites to humans also decrease.

Since females no longer have pups to protect, this source of dog aggression is also eliminated.

Over a period of time, as the sterilised dogs die natural deaths, the population is greatly reduced.

(Views expressed and information provided are personal. Send your questions to

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