Archive for April, 2008

You can read the fourth edition of the Berry Go Round here at Foothills Fancies. Spring inspired many interesting posts and plants theme posts are flowering through the blogosphere. Enjoy the latest photosynthetic news…


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Ah les joies de l’informatique… Par Chanson Plus Bifluorée.

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Read the whole story at Pharyngula. A lizzard species introduced on a small island evolved a completely new organ to adapt to a rather radical diet change in only about thirty generations (introduction dates from 1971). Really cool evolution story to store. On their way they became shorter on leggs, have a bigger mouth though they don’t shout at each other since they also turned from territorial creatures into more communal neighbours.

Nothing to do with lizzards, something I thought to blog about but a colleague did it just better than I would have done. The experiment described above is (sort of) not cool, or at least unethical, because it hurts plainfully “plant dignity” (’cause those creepy lizzards have gone veggan). Yep, somewhere on earth there will be committees to investigate if planned experiments are not going to be damaging plant dignity. What is the next swearword?

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It’s above Expelled  being exposed for what it is, a shameful piece of typical fraudulent creationist propaganda. Greg Laden’s has an excellent piece about the case bringing the (cell) gap into a general public discussion. Maybe he’s right, and American people may eventually end up with a better understanding and knowledge than any other people worldwide as to what cells are made of and as to how they function. Finally creationism has found its use: serve as an anchor to educate lay people into the true nature wonders… Or would the compulsive commitment to a fair treatment occuring there (actually completely unfair since it’s giving equal weight to a handful of lies) become the major cultural obstacle to a better understanding of the world?

Ah, fair treatment. Let’s revive the stork theory… (more…)

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Okay, it’s moss times at Seeds Aside, so I give you this panorama… This might have been another game (with “how many moss species do you see here?”), but I can’t identify these so I won’t start up. If you want a good game, these seeds still need some guesses… :-)

(for a larger size, click on the picture).

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That’s cool when requests coming here are direct questions. Eventually turning into posts of some sort…

Moss diversity

Such a recent question was “what are the two sexes of a plant moss?”. Well, the two basic sex functions are male and female, as long as gametes can be differentiated (big gametes are defined as female, small ones as male –both or none may be motile in plant species, so being able to move is not a feature that we can ascribe to a male gamete as we do in animals). That said, we know flowering plant species can express a wide diversity of co-expression of these sexual functions, resulting into sex phenotypes that vary from perfect hermaphroditism to a complete separation of sexes (that’s for the plant sex post).

The thing is that mosses are somewhat special. They spend most of their life cycle at a haploid stage (having only one set of chromosomes), while the diploid stage everyone regards as normal is a transient part of their life: the erect organ bearing and dispersing spores, whose morphological diversity is illustrated on your right (picture from Wikipedia, it’s a drawing from the very famous biologist Ernst Haeckel).


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The next edition will take place at Foothill fancies… Send your submissions before the 25th!

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