Come completion of the week, the majority of us are starting to run out of puff.
Carrying yourself from bed on a Friday to drag yourself into work is a difficult task. By lunch, the eyelids are heavy, enthusiasm is at a reduced and the thought of a nap on your desk is extremely tempting.
Zoopharmacognosy: Nature's Pharmacy used by animals
Author's name: Prof. Pradeep Mishra, Bhupesh C Semwal, Sonia SIngh*
Introduction: Self-medicating behavior is a topic of rapidly growing interest to behaviorists, parasitologists, ethnobotanists, chemical ecologists, conservationists, and physicians. Scientists from various disciplines are currently exploring the possibility that many species use plants, soils, insects, and fungi as 'medicines' in ways that guard against future illness (preventive medicine) and/or relieve unpleasant symptoms (curative or therapeutic medicine). It is important to note that the scientific study of animal self-medication is not based on an assumption that animals possess an innate 'wisdom' by which they flawlessly know what is good for them. Self-medication strategies are survival skills honed by natural selection. In most cases self-medication could be motivated by a desire to immediately reduce unpleasant sensations. Some species, particularly great apes, show an intention of purpose in their medication and in these cases the term ‘zoopharmacognosy' was coined to describe the process by which wild animals select and use specific plants with medicinal properties for the treatment and prevention of disease1.
In other words we can say that, "Zoopharmacognosy" refers to the process by which animal self-medicate, by selecting and utilizing plants and soils and insects to treat and prevent disease. Coined by Dr.Eloy Rodriguez a biochemist and professor at Cornell University, the word is derived from roots zoo ("animal"), pharma ("drug"), and gnosy ("knowing")2. Since ancient times people have recorded observations of animals apparently healing themselves with natural medicines. Many herbs still retain a common name that infers this use: dog-grass (Agropyron repens), catnip (Nepeta cataria), and horny goat weed (Epimedium sp.), to name a few. However, these observations remain largely unexplored by science. Many stories of animal self-medication are clearly designed to inform and communicate herbal lore rather than fact. Others are simply misinterpretations of animal behaviour.
According to Chinese folklore, many centuries ago a farmer in the Yunnan district found a snake near his hut. Fearful for his life, he beat it senseless with a hoe and left it for dead. A few days later, the same snake returned. Again he tried to kill it, but again it returned. After he had beaten it a third time, the farmer followed the severely wounded snake as it crawled into a clump of weeds, started feeding on them, and thereby rapidly cured the worst of its injuries. The plant in the story was Panex notoginseng, which now forms the main ingredient...
Perhaps, then, you can see much of yourself in this tired gelada baboon letting go with a massive yawn prior to settling down for a nap on her preferred rock. All that monkeying around at New york city’s Bronx Zoo had clearly taken it out of Suriya as photographer Alan Shapiro, 50, visited her enclosure.
He said: ‘They're such amazing-looking animals. I can enjoy them for hours. They're so comparable to people–. They move and act similar to us. Gelada baboons typically reveal their teeth as an indication of aggression, to say “stay away”. However in this case, she was simply tired. She was settling to have a nap.’.
Gelada baboons are discovered in the Ethiopian highlands. There are approximated to be 200,000 in the wild. They can live for 19 years and are the only grazing primate worldwide.