It is interesting to compare the brain of a very large dinosaur with the brain of an equally large modern mammal like the whale. The largest dinosaurs weighed as much as 100 tons. Whales also weigh as much as 100 tons and are, as the dinosaurs were in their time, the largest animals alive today.
PESTICIDE CONTROL One of the reasons the use of pesticides in farming should be severely restricted and controlled is that pesticides kill ‘good’ and ‘bad’ insects indiscriminately. You may think the more dead insects the better, but some insects are actually beneficial to farmers.
COMMUNICATION AND LANGUAGE IN THE HOME-RAISED CHIMPANZEES Although often misunderstood, the scientific rationale for rearing a chimpanzee in a human household is to find out just how far the ape can go in absorbing the civilizing influences of the environment. To what degree is it capable of responding like a child and to what degree will genetic factors limit its development?
DDT ( Dichloro Diphenyl Tricoloroethane ) It is clear that some chemicals can damage the health of animals and humans. However, this is not the only problem that can be caused by the careless use of chemicals. Chemicals can also disturb the ecological balance of the environment. If the ecological balance is disturbed, the consequences can be extremely serious.
THE ELECTRIC EEL There are a number of different kinds of electric fish living in the various rivers and oceans of the world. They can generate electricity up to several hundred volts. The most powerful electric fish are the electric catfish and the electric eel.
ORANGUTANS Birute Galdikas remembers the scene very well. She was in a cluttered London flat, anxious and awestruck, with her two heroes: Dian Fossey, the strong-willed American studying the mountain gorillas in Africa, and the elegant Briton Jane Goodall, famous for her discoveries about chimpanzees’ humanlike abilities.
ANIMAL PREDATORS No doubt the greatest single leap in human prehistory was the one we made from being helpless prey to becoming formidable predators (animals which hunt and eat others) of other living creatures, including, eventually, the ones with claws and fangs. This is the theme that is acted out over and over, obsessively, in the initiation rites of tribal cultures.
CROCODILES Crocodiles are formidable enemies of man and most of the stories about them arise from tragic real experiences. At least 6 of the 23 species in the crocodile family will attack and eat human beings if they can, and many of the others are large enough to cause serious injury.
THE GORILLA The gorilla is something of a paradox in the African scene. One thinks one knows him very well. For a hundred years or more, he has been killed, captured, and imprisoned in zoos. His bones have been mounted in natural history museums everywhere, and he has always exerted a strong fascination upon scientists and romantics alike. He is the stereotyped monster of the horror films and the adventure books, and an obvious (though not perhaps strictly scientific) link with our ancestral past. Yet, the fact is we know very little about gorillas.