Black Slime Mold
This photo shows the fruiting bodies (sporangia) of the cosmopolitan slim mold species Comatricha nigra growing on dead wood. The fragile sporangia of this species is less than 1 cm tall.
[Protista - Amoebozoa - Myxogastrea - Stemonitales - Stemonitidaceae - Comatricha Preuss 1851 - Comatricha nigra (Pers.) J. Schröt. 1885]
Photo credit: ©Juraj Komar | Locality: Piešt̕any, Trnavsky, Slovakia
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- 2 days ago
Clathrus archeri, commonly known as Octopus Stinkhorn or Devil’s Fingers, is a type of fungus that is native to Australia and Tasmania. It begins its life in a sub-erumpent egg, then erupts into four to seven elongated slender arms initially erect and attached at the top, which eventually unfold to reveal the spore-containing gleba. In its mature stage, it gives off a foul odor, hence its classification in the stinkhorn family, or the Phallaceae. The smelly spores attract flies and other insects, which contribute to the dispersal process.
(via libutron)Source: scienthusiasts
- 3 days ago
These spiders are a couple of Epeus flavobilineatus (Araneae - Salticidae) showing some of the features that allow to distinguish females and males (sexually dimorphic characteristics) in this species (the top image is a mature female, and bottom is a mature male).
In addition to the coloration of the head (cephalothorax), that is different between sexes, the appearance of males is remarkable by a prominent conical comb of upright setae (long hairs) on the posterior half of the eyes, arising from a semicircular base that is absent in females, which gives the males a mohawk style.
The species occurs in Singapore and Indonesia
- 4 days ago
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Stapelia hirsuta var. hirsuta
The beautiful and rare Stapelia hirsuta (Gentianales - Apocynaceae) is a species restricted to the South/western Cape Province of South Africa.
This bizarre plant produces a huge, star-shaped flower reaching 6” across. This species is covered in dense hairs. However, the unique aspect of these plants is that in wild they are pollinated by flies and beetles and emit a special, foul smelling odor.
The genus epithet “Stapelia" was named in honour of Johannes van Stapel, who published drawings and descriptions of the first Stapeliae discovered. The species name derives from the Latin adjective “hirsutus” meaning “rough, shaggy, bristly”, so the specific name implies: “hairy”.
Photo credit: ©Martin Heigan
Locality: Western Cape, South Africa
- 6 days ago
"Science is much more than a body of knowledge. It is a way of thinking. This is central to its success. Science invites us to let the facts in, even when they don’t conform to our preconceptions. It counsels us to carry alternative hypotheses in our heads and see which ones best match the facts. It urges on us a fine balance between no-holds-barred openness to new ideas, however heretical, and the most rigorous skeptical scrutiny of everything — new ideas and established wisdom. We need wide appreciation of this kind of thinking. It works. It’s an essential tool for a democracy in an age of change. Our task is not just to train more scientists but also to deepen public understanding of science."
- 1 week ago
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Physicists at the Large Hadron Collider have just detected a subatomic process even more elusive than the mass-endowing Higgs itself: a scattering of two same-charged particles called W bosons off one another. It may not sound quite as exciting as the decades-long hunt for the Higgs and its Nobel-winning discovery, but it’s a testament to the absurd precision possible at the LHC.
So how rare is this scattering? Just imagine pulling a needle out of 100 trillion pieces of exploding hay.
And why sift through all that data? It’s a crucial test of the Standard Model that describes the quantum world in glorious and elegant detail. Also, it may lead us into uncharted territory:
From the story:
“The Standard Model has so far survived all tests, but we know that it is incomplete because there are observations of dark matter, dark energy, and the antimatter/matter asymmetry in the universe that can’t be explained by the Standard Model,” Pleier said. So physicists are always looking for new ways to test the theory, to find where and how it might break down.
(via theuniverseatlarge)Source: brookhavenlab
- 1 week ago
Black-and-Yellow Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia)
Also known as the garden spider, corn spider, or writing spider, Argiope aurantia is a species of Orb-weaving spider (Araneidae) which is widely distributed throughout North and Central America. True to their common name A. aurantia can inhabit a wide variety of habitats, and are commonly found in gardens. Like other orb weavers A. aurantia webs have a extra thick line of silk in the center of their web (known as a stabilimentum) Argiope aurantia stabilimentums are usually characterized by a zigzag shape.