botany

Showing 5 posts tagged botany

If the blue whale is the biggest animal on Earth, and a Sequoia redwood tree is the tallest tree, what are the heaviest or most widespread organisms that explorers and scientists have ever found? MinuteEarth explains The Biggest Organism on Earth.

Related reading: a working list of the largest organisms. There are also more whales, more trees, and more mushrooms in the archives.

via skeptv.

In this episode of NOVA’s Gross ScienceAnna Rothschild introduces us to the carnivorous fanged pitcher plant (Nepenthes Bicalcarata) that preys on unsuspecting insects, but has a special relationship with one particular species of ant: the Camponotus Schmitzi.

There are a few other video examples of symbiosis in the archives.

The plant with the largest inflorescence (cluster of flowers on a stem) also happens to be one of the stinkiest. Meet the rare titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum), otherwise known as the corpse flower, which can be smelled from miles away to attract insects like dung beetles and fliesThe American Chemical Society’s Bytesize Science series made a video to explain the chemistry of the corpse flower’s stink.

This plant giant has been the news because one just opened for three days in Washington DC at the United States Botanic Garden Conservatory, having last bloomed in 2007. It was eight feet tall. Watch a time lapse of it opening:

Meet Forest Scientist Stephen Sillett. He has dedicated his life to studying the Redwood Forest canopy, 350 feet high into a separate world in the tops of the tallest and oldest trees on the planet.

Stephen and his team ended up finding much more than they were expecting: an environment where fruit grows and where small animals never touch the ground, all with a humbling view. And now they’re on a quest to measure and learn more about these ancient giants. 

Watch more about Stephen’s work in KQED’s Science on the Spot:

Most people know Kew Gardens as home of the world’s largest living plant collection but are not aware that it is also the location of an internationally important botanical research and educational institution. Going beyond the gardens as we know them, Lonelyleap produced two films for 2012’s Tropical Extravaganza Festival which showcase the behind the scenes work of Kew’s scientists whilst also exploring two of the festival’s themes, Earth and Air.

The first in the series explores the importance of fungi to all plants and ultimately all life on Earth through several members of the Mycology Department committed to the conservation and exploration of fungi.

The second film in the series looks at the work of the the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership in Surrey, home to 10% of the world’s plant diversity, and how the Seed Conservation Department is helping to save wild plants and habitats for our future.

Oh, all of those green boxes! And in the second video: we especially liked seeing how the different seeds can get themselves around… not to mention all of the extremely important conservation efforts:

Found these both on Vimeo. Wonderful stuff.