Showing posts with label Adaptability. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Adaptability. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Adaptability is a Key Ability


When we stumble upon the word adaptability, many of us are reminded of a famous quote "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent species. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.", isn't it?

Quite rightly so, as adaptability refers to the attribute of being able to adjust to new conditions & to reinvent oneself.

Keeping the theme of adaptability in background, let me ask you a question - What are Locusts?
I can hear you calling out, "Locust is an insect, which migrates in vast swarms, causing extensive damage to vegetation." & I hope you could hear me saying "Correct"!

By now, many of you might be thinking, what's so special in this seemingly irrelevant question & what is the connection between locust & the theme of adaptability?

This is where, the narrative becomes very interesting.....

Boris Uvarov, a Russian entomologist, during his early researches, made a strange observation - In one incipient locust swarm, he noticed swarming locusts and local grasshoppers were together. Also to his surprise, he noticed in this incipient swarm there were insects which seemed like an intermediate form of a grasshopper and a locust.

In the past, entomologists had always been mystified by the way locusts suddenly seemed to swarm out of nowhere & cause havoc on farmlands. Finally in the year 1921 Boris Uvarov, had the insight and he was able to connect the dots, with the observations he had made long time ago.

Locusts and grasshoppers were same species, but under stressed conditions of drought and diminishing food, grasshoppers laid eggs that hatched into locusts.


Let me ask you the question once again - What are Locusts?
I can hear you calling out a different answer this time, "Locust is a phase in grasshoppers life and during this phase, they behave very differently." You are right!

Under stressed conditions (droughts, scarcity of food), grasshoppers exhibits adaptability by laying a kind of eggs which hatches into locusts. Locusts have the ability to swarm and to fly far off in search of food. Thereby, they survive through drought seasons, by adapting themselves to the changed environment. When conditions become favourable (abundance of food), future generations would revert to being solitary grasshoppers.

I was amazed, when I read about the story of Locusts and Grasshoppers. How species adapts themselves with nature & how adaptation helps them to survive, is simply mind boggling!

The Locust story, also offers us lessons for life - to be adaptable and to be agile. The time we live in, is dynamic, constantly changing & is in a state of flux. Such times, calls for a special ability to survive. So let's be adaptable, after all Adaptability is a Key Ability, isn't it?
I can hear you calling out, "Yes" :-)