state bird of Kerala ,The Great Hornbill, Buceros
bicornis also known as Greater Indian Hornbill,
is the largest member of the hornbill family.
It is found in the evergreen forest of Kerala
alsothey are distributed in a range from western
India , through Indochina , south of Malaya and
through Sumatra . These hornbills are found on
sea level up to 5000 feet (1524m) above ground.
Great Hornbills can grow to a length of 4.5 feet
(1.4m). The body is covered with black feathers
and the wing tips have a ban of white feathers.
The tail, sometimes reaching up to 3 feet (7.6cm),
is white with bans of black feathers across. The
neck of this bird is surrounded with circle of
fur. The bill is yellow and curved downward. One
distinct mark of the hornbills is their bright
yellow and black casque on top of its massive
bill, a helmet like head and is solid ivory. The
casque is hollow with little functions although
they are believed to be the result of sexual selection.
Male hornbills have been known to indulge in aerial
casque butting flights. Females are smaller than
males and have blue instead of red eyes. They
usually have short legs, but have broad feet.
hornbills are mainly fruit eaters but also actively
hunt and eat insects, lizards, snakes and even
nestling birds. Great Indian Hornbills like
to eat various types of berries. Hornbills swallow
most of their food whole instead of breaking
it down first. After they consume the food,
they'll regurgitate what they cannot digest
such as bones, and pits.
hornbills build nests in hollows of large tree
trunks and the opening is sealed with feces,
wood bark, and dirt. She remains imprisoned
in her nest until the chicks are semi-developed
relying on the male to bring her food. During
this period the female undergoes a complete
moult. The clutch consists of one or two eggs
she incubates for 38-40 days.
hornbills are rare and threatened with extinction.
These birds are hunted in India for food and
medicine. In Kerala the main threat is the destruction
of their habitat. Due to ongoing habitat lost
and hunting in some areas, the Great Hornbill
is evaluated as Near Threatened on the IUCN
Red List of Threatened Species. It is listed
on Appendix I of CITES.
Geographical Distribution -fig
( Cassia Fistula)
state flower is The Golden Shower Tree or Indian
laburnum Cassia locally known as Kanikkonna in
the family Fabaceae, native to southern Asia,
from southern Pakistan east through India to Myanmar
and south to Sri Lanka. The flowers are of ritual
importance in the Vishu festival. The medium-sized
tree blooms in a particular season during the
Medam month of Malayalam calendar (April-May),
when Keralites celebrate Vishu.It is a medium-sized
tree growing to 10-20 m tall with fast growth.
The leaves are deciduous or semi-evergreen. It
is widely grown as an ornamental plant in tropical
and subtropical areas. It blooms in the month
of May; flowering is profuse, with trees being
covered with yellow flora, with almost no leaf
being seen. The golden shower tree is the national
flower of Thailand and is called Dok Khuen; its
yellow leaves symbolize Thai royalty.
Coconut Palm( Cocos Nucifera)
state tree of Kerala is the coconut palm , native
to tropical eastern regions, today it is grown both
over the Asian continent (India, Ceylon, Indonesia)
and in Central and South America (Mexico, Brazil),
in Africa. The people of the state of consider Kerala
to be the " Land of Coconuts "; ‘nalikerathinte
naadu' in the native language. The Coconut Palm
(Cocos nucifera) is a member of the Family Arecaceae
(palm family). It is the only species in the genus
Cocos, and is a large palm, growing to 30 m tall,
with pinnate leaves 4-6 m long, pinnae 60-90 cm
long; old leaves break away cleanly leaving the
trunk smooth. The term coconut refers to the fruit
of the coconut palm.
fruit is 1-2 kg in weight, is a drupe with a thin,
smooth, grey-brownish epicarp, a fibrous, 4-8
cm thick, mesocarp and a woody endocarp; as it
is rather light, it can be carried long distances
by water while keeping its germinability for a
it contains one seed, rich in reserve substances
located in the endosperm which is partly liquid
(coconut milk), partly solid (flesh).
coconut palm is perhaps the widest-grown palm
in the world. Coconuts feature as one of the main
sources of income for many of the people, in that
a large number of different products are utilized.
Nearly all parts of the coconut palm are useful,
and the palms have a comparatively high yield
(up to 75 fruits per year); it therefore has significant
economic value. The name for the coconut palm
in Sanskrit is kalpa vriksha, which translates
as "the tree which provides all the necessities
( Elephas maximus indicus)
state animal of Kerala is Asian Elephant (also
known as the Indian Elephant) is a huge land animal
that lives in India , Malaysia , Sumatra , and
Sri Lanka . This elephant is used extensively
for labor; very few are left in the wild. Their
life span is up to 70 years. There are three living
species: the African Bush Elephant, the African
Forest Elephant (until recently known collectively
as the African Elephant), and the Asian Elephant
(also known as the Indian Elephant). Elephants
are mammals, and the largest land animals alive
today. The elephant's gestation period is 22 months,
the longest of any land animal. The African and
Asian elephants are separate species. African
elephants, at up to 4 m (13 ft 1 in)tall and weighing
7500 kg (8.27 short tons), are usually larger
than the Asian species and they have bigger ears.
Both male and female African elephants have long
tusks, while their Asian counterparts have shorter
ones, with those of females vanishingly small.
African elephants have a dipped back, smooth forehead
and two "fingers" at the tip of their
trunks, whereas the Asian have an arched back,
two humps on the forehead and only one "finger"
at the tip of their trunks. The Asian elephants'
decline has possibly been more gradual with the
causes primarily being poaching and habitat destruction
by human encroachment.
There are several subspecies of
Elephas maximus and some have been identified
only using molecular markers. The first subspecies
is the Sri Lankan Elephant (Elephas maximus maximus).
Found only on the island of Sri Lanka , it is
the largest of the Asians. Another subspecies,
the Indian Elephant (Elephas maximus indicus)
makes up the bulk of the Asian elephant population.
Numbering approximately 36,000, these elephants
are lighter grey in colour, with depigmentation
only on the ears and trunk. The smallest of all
the elephants is the Sumatran Elephant (Elephas
maximus sumatranus). Population estimates for
this group range from 2,100 to 3,000 individuals.
It is very light grey and has less depigmentation
than the other Asians, with pink spots only on
the ears. In 2003 a further subspecies was identified
on Borneo . Named the Borneo pygmy elephant, it
is smaller and tamer than other Asian elephants.
It also has relatively larger ears, longer tail
and straighter tusks.
are herbivores, spending 16 hours a day collecting
plant food. Their diet is at least 50% grasses,
supplemented with leaves, bamboo, twigs, bark,
roots, and small amounts of fruits, seeds and
flowers. Because elephants only digest 40% of
what they eat, they have to make up for their
digestive system's lack of efficiency in volume.
An adult elephant can consume 140-270 kg (300–600
lb) of food a day. 60% of that food leaves the