Study shows city rats eat better than country rats

first_img Genetic study offers highest resolution yet of rat populations in the New World It is commonly believed that rats living in cities have it better than rats living in the country. Besides having access to more food sources, city rats rarely have to share those sources with other animals. They also have access to better shelter from the elements. Guiry and Buckley note that despite their long history living with rats, people still do not know all that much about them and how they actually live. To learn more, they embarked on a study that covered a 100-year period and included rats from a host of sites in and around the city of Toronto, Ontario.The researchers gained access to samples of rats from museums, universities and other archaeologists working around Toronto. They first conducted a molecular study of the rats, discarding any that were not of the species they were after: Rattus norvegicus. They used stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses to study proteins found in the rat bones. Doing so gave them an accurate representation of what the rats were eating as they scurried around in 19th-century Canada.The researchers discovered that the rats that lived in the cities had a homogenous, stable diet compared to country rats. They found it did not really matter which part of the city, either—rats in the city ate very well. They also ate a lot of meat. In sharp contrast, rats that lived a rural existence tended to have a more limited diet—one that included little to no meat. Guiry and Buckley suggest that part of the problem for rats in the country is that they have to compete for food with raccoons and other foraging animals.The researchers are hoping that their study will offer more data for other researchers looking into controlling rat populations in urban areas. More information: E. Guiry et al. Urban rats have less variable, higher protein diets, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2018). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2018.1441AbstractOver the past 1000 years, rats (Rattus spp.) have become one of the most successful and prolific pests in human society. Despite their cosmopolitan distribution across six continents and ubiquity throughout the world’s cities, rat urban ecology remains poorly understood. We investigate the role of human foods in brown rat (Rattus norvegicus) diets in urban and rural areas over a 100 year period (ca AD 1790–1890) in Toronto, Canada using stable carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotope analyses of archaeological remains. We found that rat diets from urban sites were of higher quality and were more homogeneous and stable over time. By contrast, in rural areas, they show a wide range of dietary niche specializations that directly overlap, and probably competed, with native omnivorous and herbivorous species. These results demonstrate a link between rodent diets and human population density, providing, to our knowledge, the first long-term dietary perspective on the relative value of different types of human settlements as rodent habitat. This study highlights the potential of using the historical and archaeological record to provide a retrospective on the urban ecology of commensal and synanthropic animals that could be useful for improving animal management and conservation strategies in urban areas. A pair of researchers, one with Trent University in Canada, the other the University of Manchester in the U.K. has found evidence that rats living in cities have a much richer diet than rats living in the country. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Eric Guiry and Michael Buckley describe their isotopic analysis of rats living in Toronto during the years 1790 to 1890, and what they found. Explore further Citation: Study shows city rats eat better than country rats (2018, October 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from read more

Going public with it

first_imgThinking out of the box and making it public. That is the leitmotif of this exhibition, Enamel revisited 5. The case in point is public art, which has seen expression in the works of 12 artists who have been working on them for the last seven years.Their medium of work is also quite interesting. They have chosen a material which will not wilt to the pressures the fluctuating climate yields on it. Rather, it will sustain. So they have used enamel to create their works. The aim of course is to get invited to create more public art. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’There are art and craft pieces, 3D forms, ceiling to floor mobiles, paintings and jewellery. Twelve artists – Pradeep Malhotra, Jyoti Singh, Kana Ram Lomror, Ritu Sanghal, Sima Uppal, Triveni Mahajan, Anindita Kishore, Kavita Dhankar, Shruti Gautam Dev and Veenu Shah – have been working on the pieces for quite some time now.   ‘Enamelling to me is the epitome of  the origins of our universe. It is a miniature cosmic creation forever in the making. Enamel paintings are created through fire and air and a fusion of glowing  jewellery colours and burnished metal,’ says Anindita Kishore. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixPradeep Malhotra likes experimenting with various mediums and diverse themes. He has now turned his attention on human forms and abstract impressions done with enamel on steel, and pencil and acrylic on paper and canvas.‘I love the play of fire, glass colours and textures on metal,’ says Shruti Dev who likes making both artworks and handcrafted jewellery.Jyoti Singh started off with pottery and loves working on copper, giving it form and texture and making it three dimensional and then she adds the colours. ‘My recent experience of working with industrial enamels on steel has been exciting. I wish now to develop sculptural forms and to combine different materials in my work,’ says Singh.The works make for interesting viewing. Have a dekko over this weekend.last_img read more

Free movies invaluable joy

first_imgThe 61st National Film Festival 2014 began in New Delhi on 29 June. All the National Award winning films for the year 2013 are being screened for the public during the festival. Being organised by the Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting at Siri Fort Auditorium Complex, 30 feature films and 23 non-feature films will be screening during the four-day festival. The festival was inaugurated by the Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar in the presence of Mohan Agashe, Sumitra Bhave, Sunil Sukthankar, Amruta Subhash and Pranjal Dua. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The festival opened with two films. Sumitra Bhave’s Marathi film Astu which was about a person losing his memory. Agashe being the lead actor and co-producer of the film. Chidiya Udh was the other 22-minute FTII diploma film which revolved around a young boy from a chicken farm and a maid at a luxury hotel. These films have won the awards of Best Dialogue and Best Direction respectively. Some films screened on the previous days were Soojit Sarcar’s Madras Cafe, Sange Dorjee’s Crossing Bridges, Anand Gandhi’s Ship of Theseus, Hansal Mehta’s Shahid, Subhash Kapoor’s Jolly LLB, and many more. The festival comes to an end on 2 July. So, all those people who missed out on the previous days can still catch up in the two days that are left. Films like Gulabi Gang, Accsex, Jal, Foresting Life, December 1 and others are yet to be screened. The entries are on first cum first serve basis, free and promises a wonderful time!last_img read more

Lefts strike in Bengal largely ineffective

first_imgKolkata: A Left-sponsored six-hour general strike in West Bengal evoked lukewarm response on Friday as people came out in numbers on the streets while public transport was available in the city and suburbs amid tight security arrangements.Accusing the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress of throttling democracy and unleashing massive violence on opposition party workers to prevent them from filing nominations for next month’s panchayat (rural) polls, the 16 Left parties and associates had called the six-hour strike in the state that started at 6 a.m.Those parties convening the strike included all partners of the erstwhile rulers CPI-M led Left Front.However, it was business as usual in the cities of Kolkata and Howrah where thousands of office goers hit the streets as the day progressed.The districts also remained largely active barring stray incidents of unrest in some places like West Bardhaman district’s Durgapur where the strike supporters tried to put up road blockades and clashed with the police.Train services in Eastern and South-Eastern Railways were normal while educational institutions including schools and colleges remained open.Trinamool Congress leaders and state ministers Bratya Basu and Laxmi Ratan Sukla monitored the situation in their respective constituencies and claimed the people of Bengal have shunned the “shutdown-culture” and accepted West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s developmental agenda.”Today is like any other normal day. There is no impact of the shutdown. Most people are going to work. I want to thank people for rejecting the culture of shutdowns and strikes in Bengal. Bengal is going ahead under the present government and there is no place for strike on the face of massive development here,” said Sukla, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports.The state government on Friday issued a notice to its employees stating it would not entertain absenteeism on the day of the strike and said no casual leaves due to inconvenience of transport would be granted.last_img read more

Lady Gaga collaborates with Giorgio Moroder

first_imgPop star Lady Gaga’s new album is being worked on by Giorgio Moroder.The critically-acclaimed producer has revealed that he has written “five or six” tracks for the forthcoming studio record, but he missed a recent studio session with Gaga because he fell ill.“I was supposed to be in the studio with (Gaga) a week ago, but I got a cold,” Moroder told Popjustice.“I’ll see her when I’m back. I have about five or six tracks, just basic ideas. Drums, keyboard, bass. I’m going to be surprised, I think – I don’t have a clue about the way she’s recording. Will she play the piano? Will I,”he added.last_img read more

City zoologists yet to confirm insect bites

first_imgKolkata: City based zoologists have no clue whether Tarantulas or some other insects have bitten people across some districts in Bengal as they are yet to receive samples of the insects from the affected areas.In the past one month, reports of insect bites have come from Nadia, East Midnapore and West Midnapore and South 24-Parganas. The doctors, who have treated the patients, said the patients have been bitten by Tarantulas.The zoologists maintained that without getting samples of the insects, it is difficult to say whether the victims were bitten by Tarantulas or some other insects. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsProfessor Ena Ray Banerjee, head of Immunobiology and Regenerative Medicine Research Unit, Calcutta University said unless the samples are received it is difficult to say anything about the variety of the insects. She said in May 2016, some people were bitten by insects in Belda and Debra in West Midnapore district and her research unit had received two samples, one dead and another living. The department had conducted DNA sequencing of the species and found that the variety of Tarantulas was not found in India or had not been reported earlier. She said the places, where people are being bitten by insects which may or may not be Tarantulas, should get in touch with the Immunobiology and Regenerative Medicine wing so that researchers can go and collect the samples for DNA sequencing. She said because of high temperature the Tarantulas have come out looking for food. She urged people not to panic as the stings do not carry poison.last_img read more

Visit Eco Parks Japanese restaurant this Puja for delicious cuisines

first_imgKolkata: Do you want to enjoy Prawn Tempura or Sushi? The Japanese restaurant at Eco Park is all set to welcome you with mouth-watering Japanese and Chinese cuisines during the Puja days.Eco Park has a zone housing a Japanese forest, a pagoda, an area for wish fulfillment and a top class restaurant. Japanese experts had visited Eco Park and expressed their satisfaction over the construction of the zone.The Japanese restaurant has become quite popular among the foodies in Kolkata and its neighbourhood. The quality of food is superb and on weekends it is difficult to get a seat. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeHousing and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) and New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) have decorated Biswa Bangla Sarani with bright lights. A special Dhak session will be held opposite Mother Wax Museum from Sasthi to Dashami to welcome those who visit the city from far flung districts and other states or countries.Café Ekante, New Town’s pride restaurant will offer special buffet menu on four days from Sasthi to Nabami.On Sasthi, Aampora Shorbat will be the welcome drink. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThis will be followed by masala beguni, kumro phuler bora, murgir gandharaj tikka and macher sorshe tikka as starters.The main course includes Jhoori aloo bhaja, chanar dalna, doi potol, muh mohan, thakur barir pathar mangso, home-style chicken curry, parsey macher jhol, sada bhat and basanti pulao, radhaballavi, aloo kabli chat, papad and amsatto khejurer chatni.This will be followed by dessert where misti doi, rosogolla, gajorer halwa and misti paan will be served. The menu will change. On Saptami, the welcome drink will be jal jeera. In the main course, there will be ekante kasha mangsho and pabda macher jhal among others.There will be langcha and dudhi ka halwa along with misti doi as dessert.On Astami, in the main course, there will be goalandrer murgi, mutton dakbunglow and chingrir malai curry. There will be hari moti pulao, chalta chutney, bori diye lal sag bhaja and so on.On Nabami, one can have mutton rogonjosh, sorsey mach, kachalonka murgi in the main dish. Besides misti doi, there will be pantua, halwa and misti pan in the dessert.Expert chefs in Café Ekante have prepared the menu. The restaurant has been thoroughly renovated and the capacity has been increased to 62 seats. The ambience is bound to attract guests.On the island, a model of Maa Durga, made of glass fibre, will be installed and the whole area will be decorated with soothing lights.last_img read more

Only the seeds have been sown

first_imgSri M’s spiritual journey from a curious young Pathan to a yogi, has already been detailed in his autobiography titled- ‘Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master- a Yogi’s Autobiography’, as he continues to inspire people with his endeavour to achieve communal harmony. Born as Mumtaz Ali Khan in Kerala, Sri Madhukarnath began his spiritual journey at the age of 19 as he fled to the Himalayas. After the demise of his master, he started to share his experiences and knowledge with the mass. Sri M is married, has two children and spends his time teaching and heading Satsang Foundation. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’You began your journey to become a Yogi at a very young age…I happen to be the only child of my parents who were Pathans following Islam in Kerala. Seeing me go in a different direction definitely upset them. Even though there were some problems, it did not escalate much… they understood me as they were educated people. Somehow I sailed through (laughs). I ran away from home at the age of 19, and wandered in the Himalayas for three years. I made no contact with my family, thinking that if they came to know  of my existence, they might take me back! I had to face a lot of difficulty as at times I had to starve, or suffer otherwise. There was a time when people thought of me as a loafer. But whenever I entered an ashram, nobody objected because I belonged to a different religion, rather they were interested because I was serious about my journey… Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixHow far did you undergo formal education?I went to one of the best schools in Thiruvananthapuram, and then I studied English at college. But before completing it, I ran away. At one point I realised that one can survive without any formal education, so I rolled all my degrees up and threw them into the Ganga at Uttar Kashi and I never went back looking for a duplicate copy. I have survived throughout without my degrees.Post your autobiography, are we expecting a new book based on the ‘Walk of Hope’? Yes, definitely. There are three books in the pipeline. I want to finish the second part of my autobiography where every chapter will be independent. I’ll write another book on Neurology and spiritual experience, based on my personal experiences and the research I have done on Psychiatry and Psychology. The third will surely be on the ‘padyatra’. It would not be a travelogue, but more like the journey of life.Unlike all the other spiritual guides you lead a different lifestyle, why?It is a need for the art that spiritual development goes simultaneously with a normal life. It was also Babaji’s (Mahavatar Babaji) wish that spiritual teachings should be for everyone. Besides I think it puts an end to a frank discussion when the concept of godman comes in. ‘Atmano mokshartham jagat hitaya cha’, ‘Moksha’, for the soul and welfare for the earth, this was what I have learned.What did you aim to achieve through this walk?One of our major objectives is communal unity, and I think I am qualified to talk about it as I have seen and studied many religions and their essence is not very different. Apart from that I feel very sorry when women are considered subordinates, or are discriminated. Swami Vivekananda said that any nation that discriminates against women cannot develop. I wanted to walk and disseminate these messages to the common people. We used to meet new people every day in the evening and discuss these matters with them to spread our objectives.How far do you think the walk has been successful?Only the seeds have been sown, it requires a lot of follow up. Now it is time for us to rest for a while. During this resting period, we’ll gather everyone involved, for a conference and have a brain-storming session on how to continue this and how to nourish the seeds we have sown. The walk has not ended, it has just started. When I die somebody has to take over. My wife and my children did not object to the walk. If they had not supported me emotionally, I couldn’t have done it.It was also beautiful to see how people from different religions welcomed us into different religious places without any disruption. Not a single Gurudwara, Mosque, Temple or Church stopped us. That gives us hope that there is communal harmony in the country. I refuse to believe that there are communal problems, it is a facade behind which there are vested interests and political compulsions.last_img read more

South Eastern Railway introduces series of local trains to tackle Puja rush

first_imgKolkata: The South Eastern Railway is introducing a number of special local trains with effect from Sunday night to cater to the crowd during Durga Puja. The trains will continue to run till October 20.According to the sources in the SER, the trains will ply between Mecheda-Howrah, Kharagpur-Mecheda, Howrah-Kharagpur, Howrah–Panskura, Amta–Howrah and some other routes. “There is a huge rush of passengers during the Puja. These trains have been introduced to cater to this crowd travelling to and from the city,” a senior SER official said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeA train will be leaving Mecheda at 10.50 pm in the night and reach Howrah at 12.20 am. This train will run from Sunday till October 18. The special Howrah-Kharagpur local will leave Howrah at 12.50 am and reach Kharagpur at 3.50 am in the wee hours. This train will run from Monday late night till October 19. The special trains from Kharagpur to Mecheda and vice-versa will start from 4.15 pm on October 15 and will continue till October 19. A train from Panskura will leave at 11.10 pm and will reach Howrah at 1 am the following day. This train will be available from October 15 to 20. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedA special train from Howrah to Panskura will also start operating from October 16 night and will run till October 20. Train services from Amta to Howrah will start from the night of October 14 at 11.30 pm and will run till October 19. In the reverse route, a train from Howrah will leave for Amta at 1.05 am and will reach its destination at 2.40 am. This service will start from October 15. The galloping trains like Midnapore-Howrah, Kharagpur-Santragachi, Ghatsila-Howrah will stop at all the stations till October 18.last_img read more