Field of Science

Berry Go Round #48

Welcome to the January 2012 edition of Berry Go Round!  Here are some interesting botanical posts that I found from the past month. Enjoy!

- Have you heard about the plants that eat nematodes? If not, head over to Cunabulum to read all about the genus Philcoxia and the research into these carnivorous plants.

- For those that love botanical history, here is the tale of Aven Nelson and the Laramie columbine at In the Company of Plants and Rocks. The photos of the Wyoming landscape have me thinking about traveling out west. The discussion of naming different granite types is a vignette that all taxonomists can enjoy.

- This month the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published a new Plant Hardiness Zone Map for 2012. The release of this new map was mentioned on quite a number of gardening blogs. I found the discussion at Greg Laden's Blog to be the most interesting. The comments center on how this revised map may influence thinking surrounding climate change.

- There is a super cool story about solar-powered sea slugs at Postdoc Exploring. These slugs are feeding on the chloroplasts from algae, incorporating them into their cells, and then using them to photosynthesize. There are several videos to watch. In one, you can see the slug slurping the chloroplasts from inside the algae, like drinking through a straw.

- This is a blog that is totally new to me. It is called Phytography. A botanical word of the day is explained through amazing photos of plants from New Zealand. I am especially partial to furrow on Jan 1st and spiral on Jan 26th. Which one is your favorite?   

- I am still longing for a real vacation, since finishing up my PhD in December and have been imaging an escape to points south over spring break. Maybe I will head to South Carolina. Anybody Seen My Focus? has two posts (evening and morning) highlighting a winter trip to the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge in South Carolina. Some of the grasses are a little brown this time of the year, but overall there is way more green than we have here in Connecticut and it looks like a nice place to visit. I am imagining water, hiking, plants, and being far away from my computer. Any other suggestions?

- Thinking of painting your house in 2012? How about covering it in plants instead? Seeds Aside has some lovely photos of a museum in Paris that is covered in an abundance of plant life. 

- The Phytophactor discusses the invention of dichotomous keys and a recent article that highlights an image-based key that predates text-based dichotomous keys by 100 years. You can check out scans of the original drawings used in this image-based key here at the Royal Society.

Stay tuned for February's Berry Go Round hosted at A Blog Around The Clock.


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