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Posts Tagged "ferns"

The Artful Amoeba

Fern Frozen in Time by Volcanic Flow Reveals Stunning Detail

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It defies belief, but a 180 million year old fern fossil unearthed in Sweden is so exquisitely preserved that it is possible to see its cells dividing. So pristine is the fossil, reported scientists from the Swedish Museum of Natural History in the journal Science in March, that it is possible for them to estimate [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

In Darkened Forests, Ferns Stole Gene From an Unlikely Source — and Then From Each Other

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Scientists knew neochrome was odd before they started rooting around in its family tree. A union of independent proteins — red-sensing phytochrome and blue-sensing phototropin — the super-protein combines two already-great pieces into one fantastic whole that helps plants grow toward dim, filtered light. It’s a slick little adaptation for living on the murky forest [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

Postcards from Rangitoto, Part 2

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When we left the volcano Rangitoto two posts ago, I promised more Down Under fern excitement. For the six of you still here, here we go! Toward the beginning of my hike I saw signs pointing to a kidney fern glen or gully. That sounded *extremely* promising, though I’d never heard of a kidney fern [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

Ferns, Secret Ninja Ferns, and their Alluring Asexual Bits

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A fern may seem a simple thing. It’s a leaf; it sprouts from the forest floor. But it’s much more than that. Ferns were one of the first plant forms to evolve, and they retain features that show it. For instance, unlike mosses and their wacky buddies the liverworts, ferns possess true stems (which usually [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

Postcards from Rangitoto

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A week and a half ago I stepped off a plane and into the Southern Hemisphere for the first time in my life. In spite of 12 hours of cramped legs and loud children heedless of fellow travelers’ sleep needs, it was an exhilarating feeling. Location: New Zealand. Though David Attenborough ably prepared me for [...]

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