Aunt Maneka loves birds and animals. She is an environmentalist and a Member of Parliament, but her love for animals supersedes both.
Q. Do trees age like humans? How can we tell their age?
-Ishaan Ahuja, 7 years, Mumbai
A. Dear Ishaan, Yes. Like humans, trees do age but their lifespan varies for different species. One of the ways of finding out the age of a tree is by counting the rings within their branches and the trunks. These rings usually appear as alternating rings of dark and light shaded wood; you will need to count the number of dark rings to find out the tree’s age. For example, if a tree has 65 dark circles, it is 65 years old. These unique rings are known as growth rings. They are created every year when a new layer of wood is added to the branches and trunk of the tree. The light-coloured rings are known as the springwood and are generally wider in size because trees grow most during spring. The darker rings are known as summerwood and are relatively thinner because the growth of trees slows down during summer.
Q. Why does my cat shed his claws?
-Parul Jha, 11 years, Mumbai
A. Dear Parul,When you see a claw lying around the house, there is no need for alarm. Cats shed claws regularly. It’s a natural process that takes place every two to three months. Claws are essential for cats and other members of the cat family, as they use them for defense, climbing and hunting. As the older, outer layer of the claw gets worn out, it is shed, revealing a newer, sharper claw. You can help your cat by making sure there are plenty of options like a door mat or other rough surfaces where it can scratch to remove the older claw.
If you have questions about pets/animals/birds, write to us and we’ll ask Aunt Maneka to answer.