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Gentleman’s Essentials

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The seeds and seed pods of trees not only provide a tree with its means of reproduction, but they are also marvels of design and engineering. Can you match these beautiful pods and fruits to their trees?

Take the quiz and find out!

(via xysciences)


Sea creatures eating a whale.


Pincushion Sunburst Lichen - Xanthoria polycarpa 

Xanthoria polycarpa is a lichenized fungi with foliose thallus (the vegetative body) forming small cushions up to 3 cm wide or larger colonies, with short and narrow, convex lobes, frequently almost completely covered with apothecia (the fruiting bodies, cup-like in this species).

Xanthoria polycarpa is widespread on nutrient-enriched trees, especially on small twigs where it forms clusters of apothecia in axils of branches; becoming common as an indicator of nitrogen deposition.

This species has circumpolar distribution extending into temperate regions. It is very widespread and, because of its bright yellow-orange color, easy to identify.

[Fungi - Ascomycota - Lecanoromycetes - Teloschistales - Teloschistaceae - XanthoriaXanthoria polycarpa (Hoffm.) Th. Fr. ex Rieber]

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credit: ©Richard Droker (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) | Locality: not indicated (2009)

(via allhoneyed)


Even Fish ‘Babytalk,’ Say Researchers

Researchers recently put their ears to the sea, and were surprised at what they heard. In the first instance of this officially recorded and studied, scientists have found that fish larvae produce specific sounds that could help them maintain group cohesion even while in the dark.

"Although many adult fishes produce sounds, no one has previously considered that larvae, too, may be sound producers. This is the first study to show that fish larvae have an acoustic repertoire," Claire Paris, of the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, said in a statement. “This is a true discovery as it reveals the existence of a communication system for young fish larvae.”

According to a study authored by Paris and her colleagues and published in the journal Biology Letters, fish larvae produce what the researchers are calling “knocks” and “growls” in the range of 200-800 Hz, which is within the hearing range of most adult fish.

Interestingly, the larvae seem to produce these sounds only at night, suggesting that they use the sounds to keep together, even when visibility is low or non-existent.

"The study was setup to record ambient sounds around the drifting arena that might guide the fish larval orientation. It was a fantastic surprise to listen to the recording and hear that the larva itself was emitting sound," Paris explained. "Communication between larvae could allow them to maintain group cohesion, which is critically important for faster swimming, finding navigational signals and settlement cues, and better survival."

"This discovery has important conservation implications as well," added Erica Staaterman, lead author of the study.

Staaterman goes on to explain that as human activity continues to invade marine environments with its own noise, it’s important to understand what kinds of essential communication might be disrupted.

(via libutron)


Contessa with Squid by Omar Rayyan