Every two years people around the world suddenly obsessively watch odd niche sports like ice dancing, biathalon, and rhythmic gymnastics. So I wish similar enthusiasm could be summoned for the exploration dives of the Deep Discoverer, NOAA’s ROV aboard the research vessel Okeanos Explorer and vehicles like it, which are streamed live on the internet.
It must be the Year of the Sponge here at The Artful Amoeba, because I can’t seem to write enough posts about sponges and their amazing micro-scale architecture.
Author's note: This is the latest post in the Wonderful Things series. You can read more about this series here. There is a fungus on our planet which is capable of not one, but two audacious and duplicitous acts: it pretends, on separate occasions, to be both to be a flower and a pollen grain, [...]
An unassuming little fern has left scientists scratching their heads at the feat of reproductive hijinks it apparently represents. The fern, xCystocarpium roskamianum(the prefix ‘x’ indicates it is a hybrid), collected in the French Pyrenees, appeared to be a blend of two ferns they know well.
As fabulous, fantastical gems of evolution go, seadragons are hard to beat. The weedy seadgragon: “Weedy seadragon-Phyllopteryx taeniolatus” by Sylke Rohrlach – http://www.flickr.com/photos/87895263@N06/11259275943/sizes/l/in/photostream/.
If you’re like me, you’ve always wanted Ernst Haeckel in your house. Well, not literally Ernst Haeckel, the great 19th century biologist (although that would be cool, in alive form).
Let’s say you’re a small cell engaged in heavy manufacturing. Like most animal cells, you are coated only in a thin membrane made a double layer of fluid fat-like molecules.
See these annular structures? They are 492 million years old and come from Wisconsin. Here are some more. Was there a severe shortage of beer coasters in Cambrian Wisconsin?
To look at a rock sponge, which usually has all the visual appeal of a potato, you would never guess that inside lies the Notre Dame of animal skeletons.
The tropical plant Genlisea is a tiny, homely rosette of simple green leaves. If you dig up its roots, you will find what look like an unremarkable bunch long, pale underground roots.
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