Facts Corner-Part-183

Great Indian Hornbill

  • The great hornbill is one of the larger members of the hornbill family, In India the bird is found in Western Ghats and in North-east India.
  • The bird is state bird of Kerala and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Recently the bird was documented probably for the first time within Coonoor town in the Nilgiris.
  • The bird is known to populate the lower slopes of the Nilgiris up to an elevation of around 1,200 meters above mean sea level.
  • It is an elusive species which tends to steer clear of major towns and human habitations.
  • According to IUCN the Great Indian Horn bill is consider to be Vulnerable.
  • Every year in the month of December great Indian hornbill festival is celebrated in Nagaland.

Candida Auris Fungus

  • Candida auris is a multiple drug resistance fungus that presents a serious global health threat to humans.
  • C. auris spread in hospitals, targeting people with weakened immune systems. and it is difficult to identify with standard lab methods.
  • Symptoms may not be noticeable, because patients infected with C. auris are often patients in the hospital with another serious illness or condition.
  • It can spread from one patient to another in healthcare settings through contact with contaminated environmental surfaces or equipment.

Homo Luzonensis

  • Traces of extinct species of human named Homo Luzonensis has been found in the Luzon island of Philippines.
  • The new specimens from Callao Cave, in the north of Luzonhave been dated to between 67,000 years and 50,000 years ago.
  • The finger and toe bones of the spices are curved, suggesting climbing was still an important activity for this species.
  • Its physical features are a mixture of those found in very ancient human ancestors and in more recent people.
  • Homo luzonensis has some physical similarities to recent humans, but in other features hark back to the australopithecines, upright-walking ape-like creatures that lived in Africa between two and four million years ago, as well as very early members of the genus Homo.

DART Mission

  • Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) is NASA’s first mission to demonstrate kinetic impactor technique which will strike the asteroid to shift its orbit to defend against a potential future asteroid impact.
  • The target for DART is an asteroid that will have a distant approach to Earth in October 2022, and then again in 2024.
  • The asteroid is called Didymos, an asteroid binary system that consists of two bodies: Didymos A, and Didymos B.
  • The kinetic impact technique works by changing the speed of a threatening asteroid by a small fraction of its total velocity, which would shift the asteroid’s path away from Earth.

Leucistic Squirrel

  • For the first time, leucistic five-striped palm squirrel has been reported from north India.
  • Funambulus pennanti is more frequently found in the northern part of India including Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar.
  • Colour abnormalities are very rare in wild mammals, these abnormalities may be governed by several factors like environmental pollution, congenital infection, low nutrition food and genetic causes.
  • Leucism is a condition where there is partial loss of pigmentation in animals on the skin, however, the loss of colour does not extend to the eye.

Yangtze giant softshell turtles

  • The only known female member of Yangtze giant softshell turtle has died recently in China.
  • The animal was one of four known to be remaining in the world, rest three turtles are male.
  • It is also known as the Red River giant softshell turtle.
  • It is listed as critically endangered in the IUCN Red List.

Mariana Trench

  • The Mariana Trench is located in the western Pacific Ocean and has the deepest natural trench in the world.
  • It is a crescent-shaped trough in the Earth’s crust averaging about 2,550 km long and 69 km wide.
  • The trench is not the part of the seafloor closest to the centre of the Earth since the Earth is not a perfect sphere.
  • Recently scientists have discovered a unique oil-eating bacteria in the Mariana Trench.
  • The found microorganisms eat compounds similar to those in oil and then use it for fuel.

Phantom Lakes

  • Researchers have found lake made up of liquid methane in the northern polar region of Saturn’s moon Titan.
  • Some of frigid Titan’s lakes of liquid hydrocarbons in this region are surprisingly deep while others may be shallow and seasonal.
  • Titan boasts lakes, rivers and seas of hydrocarbons – compounds of hydrogen and carbon like those that are the main components of petroleum and natural gas.
  • The scientists described this has “phantom lakes” as they appear wide during winter and shallow due to evaporation during springtime, a process taking seven years on Titan.

Exercise SEA VIGIL

  • SEA VIGIL is national level Coastal Defense Exercise.
  • The exercise has witnessed the simultaneous activation of the coastal security apparatus across the country involving maritime stakeholders at the Centre and all the 13 Coastal States and Union Territories.

Zinc Deficiency

  • According to recent research, it is found that inadequate zinc intake has been rising in India for decades, causing tens of millions of people to become newly deficient in it.
  • Rising carbon dioxide levels can accelerate zinc deficiency in crops and thus in human consumption.
  • The highest rate of inadequate zinc intake was concentrated mainly in the southern and northeastern States with rice-dominated diets: Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Manipur and Meghalaya.

Salt Tolerant Rice

  • Researchers have developed a new salt-tolerant transgenic rice plant by over-expressing a gene from wild rice called Porteresia coarctata into the commonly used IR 64 indicia rice variety.
  • Porteresia coarctata is a native of India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar and is grown mainly in saline estuaries.
  • The new crop can withstand salt concentration of up to 200 micromoles per litre or about half as saline as seawater without affecting normal growth and grain yield under greenhouse conditions.

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