animal kingdom

Watch: These are the reasons all animals don't have identical lifespans (and turtles outlive us)

An Icelandic clam is just hitting the prime of life.

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Everyone knows that the tortoise can live for more than 100 years. Maybe fewer people know that the microscopic lab worm spends only a few short weeks on the planet.

Lifespan differences are vast among animals. While mice and rats live for around four years, the bowhead whale may only experience death after 200 long years.

Why these differences? What does it even mean to age? The video above has some answers.

Animals start the process of ageing after reaching sexual maturity. While the drivers can be complicated, ageing is essentially related to cell death and dysfunction. When we’re younger, it’s easier to regenerate cells and replace dying ones quickly. Getting older means our systems aren’t as efficient as they used to be, leading to disease and, eventually, death.

But why then do animals have such major variance in their lifespans? This can be traced to several factors such as their body size, the environment and more. Ming, an Icelandic clam known as an ocean quahog, leads the longevity race among vertebrates with an incredible 507 years. In more mindboggling news, the Antarctic glass sponge can make it for over 10,000 years in frigid waters.

Heart-rates and metabolic rates are known to slow down in colder environments which may lead to these creatures and organisms ageing slowly compared to the rest of us. Often, larger species do seem to live longer than the smaller ones, some of whom often fall prey to predators in the food chain. But there are notable exceptions to the size-rule: Bats, birds, moles, and turtles.

Other factors that may affect longevity include genetic differences. As for humans, our average life expectancy clocks in at 71 years currently. Nowhere close to those who manage to survive the longest on our planet, of course. In better news, we’re very good at increasing life expectancy.

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Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.

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2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.