Can peacocks fly with their tails?

Peacocks can fly, despite their long trains (tail feathers) which make up 60% of their body. The average peacock spends only 2% of its time in flight. Flight serves primarily as a defence mechanism; peacocks launch themselves vertically into the air to escape into the canopies of trees to evade predators and to nest safely during the evenings. If a predator grabs the train, the long feathers pull out easily, so that the peacock can fly away. This national bird of India is protected under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972.

When you look at the long tail flowing behind a flying peacock, you might be perplexed as to how they manage to lift themselves off the ground. Technically, their actual tail has only about 20 feathers. However the “train” that is made up of the elongated feathers that drape over the tail can have more than 200 feathers and is about 5-6 feet long!

Surely this mass of 200 extra long feathers trailing behind them must hinder their flight ability. However, scientists believe it actually has no significant effects. In a study carried out by Dr. Askew of the University of Leads, peacock tails were clipped to confirm its effect on their flight.

Surprisingly, peacocks with clipped tails still struggled to take off from the ground, and their flight was similar to when they had full tails. This has lead researchers to believe that the gigantic plumage has little effect on a peacocks ability to fly.

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Butterflies and moths are both part of a big group of insects that have wings covered in tiny dust-like scales. Butterflies are usually brightly coloured and they fly during the day. They have a thin, hairless body and a pair of antennae each with a small bulb at the end. Moths tend to be duller in colour so they are camouflaged when they rest during the day on trees and leaves. They have antennae and plump, hairy bodies. Butterflies tend to fold their wings vertically up over their backs. Moths tend to hold their wings in a tent-like fashion that hides the abdomen. Butterflies are typically larger and have more colorful patterns on their wings. Moths are typically smaller with drab-colored wings.  Reason we dislike moths is that they normally come out at night, whereas butterflies are active in the day. While we sleep, dozens of species of moths fly around, attracted to light and looking for mates.

1. Butterflies and moths are part of the same group of insects, known as ‘Lepidoptera’. To tell them apart, butterflies fly in bright sunshine, while moths are most active at night.

2. The lifecycle of a butterfly is in four stages: egg, caterpillar, pupa and adult butterfly.

3. Most butterflies don’t live very long. The Priam’s birdwing butterfly only lives for 10 days!

4. Butterflies have four wings, not two as you may think.

5. The wings of butterflies and moths, with their vibrant colours and patterns, are actually made up of tiny scales.

6. The largest butterfly in the world is the female Queen Alexandra’s birdwingwith a wingspan of over 25cm!

7. The smallest butterfly is the Western Blue Pigmy, which is only 2cm across.

8. Butterflies need heat to be able to move. When you see them resting in the sunshine, they are warming up their wings so they can fly.

9. Moths have a stronger sense of smell than butterflies.

10. Butterflies can see colours that humans can’t.

11. Moths navigate using the moon. This means they also are attracted to man-made lights, which cause them to get lost.

12. Butterflies taste with their feet!

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Dragonflies are large, fast-flying insects that can dart at speeds up to 60 km per hour. Their four wings move independently of one another and make a rattling sound. Dragonflies can also fly backwards.

1. Dragonflies Are Ancient Insects

Long before the dinosaurs roamed the Earth, dragonflies took to the air. Griffenflies (Meganisoptera), the gigantic precursors to modern dragonflies had wingspans of over two feet and dotted the skies during the Carboniferous period over 300 million years ago.

2. Dragonfly Nymphs Live In the Water

There's a good reason why you see dragonflies and damselflies around ponds and lakes: They're aquatic! Female dragonflies deposit their eggs on the water's surface, or in some cases, insert them into aquatic plants or moss. Once hatched, the nymph dragonfly spends its time hunting other aquatic invertebrates. Larger species even dine on the occasional small fish or tadpole. After molting somewhere between six and 15 times, a dragonfly nymph is finally ready for adulthood and crawls out of the water to shed its final immature skin.

3. Nymphs Breath Through Their Anus

The damselfly nymph actually breathes through gills inside its rectum. Likewise, the dragonfly nymph pulls water into its anus to facilitate gas exchange. When the nymph expels water, it propels itself forward, providing the added benefit of locomotion to its breathing.

4. Most New Dragonfly Adults Are Eaten

When a nymph is finally ready for adulthood, it crawls out of the water onto a rock or plant stem and molts one final time. This process takes several hours or days as the dragonfly expands to its full body capacity. These newly emerged dragonflies, known at this stage as teneral adults, are soft-bodied, pale, and highly vulnerable to predators. Until their bodies fully harden they are weak flyers, making them ripe for the picking. Birds and other predators consume a significant number of young dragonflies in the first few days after their emergence.

5. Dragonflies Have Excellent Vision

Relative to other insects, dragonflies have extraordinarily keen vision that helps them detect the movement of other flying critters and avoid in-flight collisions. Thanks to two huge compound eyes, the dragonfly has nearly 360° vision and can see a wider spectrum of colors than humans. Each compound eye contains 28,000 lenses or ommatidia and a dragonfly uses about 80% of its brain to process all of the visual information it receives.

6. Dragonflies Are Masters of Flight

Dragonflies are able to move each of their four wings independently. They can flap each wing up and down, and rotate their wings forward and back on an axis. Dragonflies can move straight up or down, fly backward, stop and hover, and make hairpin turns—at full speed or in slow motion. A dragonfly can fly forward at a speed of 100 body lengths per second (up to 30 miles per hour).

7. Male Dragonflies Fight for Territory

Competition for females is fierce, leading male dragonflies to aggressively fend off other suitors. In some species, males claim and defend a territory against intrusion from other males. Skimmers, clubtails, and petaltails scout out prime egg-laying locations around ponds. Should a challenger fly into his chosen habitat, the defending male will do all he can to chase away the competition. Other kinds of dragonflies don't defend specific territories but still behave aggressively toward other males that cross their flight paths or dare to approach their perches.

8. Male Dragonflies Have Multiple Sex Organs

In nearly all insects, the male sex organs are located at the tip of the abdomen. Not so in male dragonflies. Their copulatory organs are on the underside of the abdomen, up around the second and third segments. Dragonfly sperm, however, is stored in an opening of the ninth abdominal segment. Before mating, the dragonfly has to fold his abdomen in order to transfer his sperm to his penis.

9. Some Dragonflies Migrate

A number of dragonfly species are known to migrate, either singly or en masse. As with other migratory species, dragonflies relocate to follow or find needed resources or in response to environmental changes such as impending cold weather. Green darners, for example, fly south each fall in sizeable swarms and then migrate north again in the spring. Forced to follow the rains that replenish their breeding sites, the globe skimmer—one of several species that's known to spawn in temporary freshwater pools—set a new insect world record when a biologist documented its 11,000 mile trip between India and Africa.

10. Dragonflies Thermoregulate Their Bodies

Like all insects, dragonflies are technically ectotherms ("cold-blooded"), but that doesn't mean they're at the mercy of Mother Nature to keep them warm or cool. Dragonflies that patrol (those that habitually fly back and forth) employ a rapid whirring movement of their wings to raise their body temperatures. Perching dragonflies, on the other hand, who rely on solar energy for warmth, skillfully position their bodies to maximize the surface area exposed to sunlight. Some species even use their wings as reflectors, tilting them to direct the solar radiation toward their bodies. Conversely, during hot spells, some dragonflies strategically position themselves to minimize sun exposure, using their wings to deflect sunlight.

Credit : Thought co ?

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Eyes are the most delicate of the sensory organs. They need constant lubrication. They must also be kept crystal clear for good vision. Blinking serves the dual purpose of cleaning and lubricating our eyes. It helps keep the eyes moist by coating them with tears released by the tear glands and lubricating oil released by sebaceous glands present near the eyelashes. These fluids rinse away all the dust particles.

Blinking also helps guard our eyes against a sudden blow. We blink automatically when there is a loud noise or when something moves too quickly.

Most people blink about 15 times a minute. Scientists have found that people blink less when they are alert. For example, car drivers blink less in city traffic when they need to be extremely alert than while driving on the open road.

Nervous people tend to blink more frequently. Lawyers say witnesses under cross-examination blink more often than those facing friendly questioning.

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Most of us are right-handed, a few are left-handed, and a small number is ambidextrous - that is, they can use both hands with equal ease.

What causes left-handedness? There are many theories. Some say it is inherited; others, that it is a result of habit, education, and environment. Most scientists, however, believe that left-handedness has a biological basis. It is known that the left hemisphere of the brain controls the right half of the body and the right hemisphere, the left. Most of us are right-handed because in most of us, it is the left hemisphere that is dominant. In those who are left-handed, it is the right hemisphere of the brain that is dominant. If there is no dominance of either hemisphere over the other, then the person might become ambidextrous.

American psychiatrist Camilla Benbow has found that many students who are exceptionally good at mathematics are left-handed. She says this is due to the dominance of the right hemisphere of the brain, which is the seat of mathematical reasoning ability.

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