Leaf Litter

World Needs Death and Decay

World needs death and decay claims an article is ScienceDaily 12 September 2018 about a study published in Ecological Monographs 11 September 2018, doi: 10.1002/ecm.1331. When animals and plants die there is a need for their remains to be broken down and decomposed so that nutrients and other substances are returned to the earth to […]

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Dinosaur Flowers

Did Dinosaurs Stop to Smell the Flowers?

Did dinosaurs stop to smell the flowers?  According to articles in ScienceDaily 7 August 2018 and Historical Biology, doi: 10.1080/08912963.2018.1502288 published online 25 July 2018, they could have. Many flowers attract pollinators by producing fragrances.  George Poinar, an entomologist at Oregon State University and his son Greg, a perfume collector, have examined fossil flowers found […]

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Bee Pollen

Safe Sites for Pollen

Safe sites for pollen found, according to reports in ScienceDaily 6 September 2017 and PLOS ONE doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0182522, 6 September 2017. When bees visit flowers they will collect pollen all over their bodies and legs. Before they visit another flower the bees may groom themselves and move a lot of the pollen into their crop […]

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Sweet Smelling Birds’ Nests

Sweet smelling birds’ nests keep chicks healthy, according to a report in Nature Science Update 22 July 2002. French ecologists studied blue tits on the island of Corsica and found they gather aromatic plants such as lavender, mint, yarrow and other scented herbs for their nests and regularly replenish them as they lose their fragrance. […]

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Squirrels and Spruce Boom and Bust

Squirrels and spruce boom and bust. According to a new study published in Science on 21 December 2006 (DOI: 10.1126/science.1135520), spruce trees in the Canadian Yukon, and parts of Belgium and Italy, have evolved a synchronized boom and bust approach to seed production in an attempt to thwart Red Squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus,) that feed on […]

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Spikey Watering System

Spikey watering system described in About the Garden, Australia, Spring 2005. An article on the spines on cacti and succulent plants reminded us that they are generally claimed to have evolved to protect plants from being eaten. However the author brought out a positive side to the spines existence in that “their main function is […]

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Seed Germination Problem

Seed germination problem solved reports New Scientist 12 June 2004, p17. Scientists who have been trying to propagate the Javan ash tree, a rare rainforest tree from northern Australia and southeast Asia, have found the secret of success – a cassowary’s digestive system. Cassowaries are large flightless birds that live in the rainforests where they […]

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How Toads Conquered the World

How toads conquered the world, according to articles in Science vol 327, p633 & 679, 5 Feb 2009. Toads are believed to have evolved in South America but are now found all over the world. An article entitled “Evolution: ‘Toadness’ a Key Feature for Global Spread of These Amphibians” describes how an international group of […]

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Flowers Give Microbes

Flowers give microbes, according to ScienceDaily 6 September 2016 and Microbial Ecology 2016; doi: 10.1007/s00248-016-0838-1. Scientists in USA have found that flowers not only provide bees with nectar and pollen, they are also a “hot spot of transmission of bacteria that end up in the microbiome of wild bees”. Picking up germs from flowers may […]

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Three Way Lichens

Three way lichens found, according to reports in ScienceDaily 21 July 2016, Science News videos 28 July 2016 and Science, 2016, DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf8287. Lichens are the classic example of symbiosis, and have long been recognised as being a combination of two separate and distinct organisms combining to make a single functioning entity. Lichens consist of […]

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