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Nose Blowing

And other strange sounds

Sounds accompany many kinds of activities. The buzz of a mosquito in the bedroom comes to mind; and then there is the clashing of horns of mountain sheep in combat, the chewing of food, the knock on the door, sounds in courtship, territorial claims in birds, monkeys and other animals. etc. Come to think of it there aren’t really terribly many animals that are totally silent; worms perhaps and, with very few exceptions, spiders, but certainly not fish. —>

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Star Gazers

When animals use celestial cues to navigate

In recent years there have been some spectacular astro-physical successes with the Cassini probe, the comet visit by Rosetta, the Pluto flyby etc. coming to mind. Successes, which were so fantastic that almost everyone must have heard of them. We do look at the stars and are fascinated by the world beyond our own. But animals, too, look at the heavens and see the stars, the sun and the moon – and many species actually make use of what they see up there. —>

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Pain in Insects?

Compared with them, we humans are terrible wimps

Children -and a few adults as well- are known to have sometimes plucked off the wings of flies, heaven knows why. Housewives do not hesitate emptying spray cans of insecticide over ants in the kitchen and gardeners can go berserk over aphids on their precious rose bushes and would try to annihilate the pest with all the chemical weaponry available. Isn’t that cruel? Are the insects not suffering pain and distress? Let us examine. —>