Thursday, May 22, 2014

Fern Day

The woods behind my house has a lot of ferns. Some of whom have migrated into my yard.

They usually end up next to the foundation for some reason. Should I be worried that my foundation area stays damp enough for the spores to grow?

Ferns are an ancient group of plants, descended from the earliest vascular plants (that's right, they have tubes that carry nutrients and water up and down the plant). They first show up in the fossil record 360 million years ago!

What I find most amazing about ferns is that some of them have insane numbers of chromosomes - in one case more than 1200! (we have 46). Can you imagine trying to get those all organized for cell division. No? Oh, you don't care? Well, have another fern picture.

[If you are a science geek and want more information check out this video on Why Ferns Have More Chromosomes. I only heard one not-quite-accurate statement, it's very easy to understand, plus he uses the term "hot mess" which always makes me hungry for a fresh out of the oven pineapple upside down cake (which is MY idea of a "hot mess." Yum.)]

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