Category: nature

Regular

nanonaturalist:

arathergrimreaper:

gwenthelumberjane:

sindri42:

fliting:

sindri42:

curiooftheheart:

iamthezubatman:

eggcup:

tilthat:

TIL there is a species of fungus that only exists in Texas and rural Japan, and is thought to have been in both places for 19 million years

via reddit.com

turns people into cowboys or samurais depending on which place you’re in 

That explains why cowboy movies and samurai movies are so similar.

Cowboys are Alolan form Samurai

So in Japan it’s called Kirinomitake while in Texas it’s called either Texas Star (because after releasing spores it’s unfolded into a star shape) or the Devil’s Cigar because it starts out as a long oblong mushroom but then it unfolds with an ominous hissing noise and releases a big smoky black cloud of spores.

It only grows in these two places, and people did genetic testing and a bunch of math to determine that the two populations started diverging from each other nineteen million goddamn years ago, so it’s not possible for humanity to have moved it from one place to the other. They’re at the same latitude, but 11,000 fucking kilometers apart not to mention the goddamn ocean in the way.

“this is only another illustration of the unusual and unpredictable distribution of many species of the fungi. It would be difficult indeed to account for it, and we merely accept the facts as they are.”

So apparently it’s pretty common in the mycological world to find some bullshit that can’t be explained and would probably drive men mad to look at too closely, and just sort of shrug and move on with your day.

The species is also the only example of its genus.

Your daily reminder that anyone who devotes their life to studying fungi is not to be trifled with because their brain is full of things humanity was never supposed to notice.

just fucking mushrooms

@emathevampire

Oh hey fun fact, apparently the sanctuary I do outreach at has these. I haven’t seen them, but the Travis Audubon Outreach Coordinator has photographed them and had them IDed. She was telling me about them a couple weeks ago and I was like WOW I NEED TO FIND ME SOME!!!

In exchange, I told her about the magical super butterfly-attractant Lantana that was off-trail. I swear like 30 species at once on that thing it was redonkulous.

If you’re in Austin, the Blair Woods Sanctuary is open to the public, dawn to dusk. It’s behind The Austin Wildlife Rescue’s intake center. There’s a pond, and two weeks ago it was STILL swarming with dragonflies! Nice little patch of wilderness with some walking trails and rare fungi I guess.

December 12, 2018

Update: Texans, Guess What?

They’re out right now and iNaturalist can tell you exactly where to find them [link]. They have been found within the past couple days in Austin, and within the past week-ish in Dallas-Fort Worth. Looks like this fungi come out in the cooler months between October and April, and they grow on the stumps and rotting roots of Cedar Elms. 

If you look at where these have shown up on iNaturalist historically (if you follow the link, click on the filter button in the top right and get rid of my date filter), and you will see they have a very interesting distribution pattern…

Very interesting

It’s almost like, the spores are in the water or something 😂

December 13, 2018

Regular

arathergrimreaper:

gwenthelumberjane:

sindri42:

fliting:

sindri42:

curiooftheheart:

iamthezubatman:

eggcup:

tilthat:

TIL there is a species of fungus that only exists in Texas and rural Japan, and is thought to have been in both places for 19 million years

via reddit.com

turns people into cowboys or samurais depending on which place you’re in 

That explains why cowboy movies and samurai movies are so similar.

Cowboys are Alolan form Samurai

So in Japan it’s called Kirinomitake while in Texas it’s called either Texas Star (because after releasing spores it’s unfolded into a star shape) or the Devil’s Cigar because it starts out as a long oblong mushroom but then it unfolds with an ominous hissing noise and releases a big smoky black cloud of spores.

It only grows in these two places, and people did genetic testing and a bunch of math to determine that the two populations started diverging from each other nineteen million goddamn years ago, so it’s not possible for humanity to have moved it from one place to the other. They’re at the same latitude, but 11,000 fucking kilometers apart not to mention the goddamn ocean in the way.

“this is only another illustration of the unusual and unpredictable distribution of many species of the fungi. It would be difficult indeed to account for it, and we merely accept the facts as they are.”

So apparently it’s pretty common in the mycological world to find some bullshit that can’t be explained and would probably drive men mad to look at too closely, and just sort of shrug and move on with your day.

The species is also the only example of its genus.

Your daily reminder that anyone who devotes their life to studying fungi is not to be trifled with because their brain is full of things humanity was never supposed to notice.

just fucking mushrooms

@emathevampire

Oh hey fun fact, apparently the sanctuary I do outreach at has these. I haven’t seen them, but the Travis Audubon Outreach Coordinator has photographed them and had them IDed. She was telling me about them a couple weeks ago and I was like WOW I NEED TO FIND ME SOME!!!

In exchange, I told her about the magical super butterfly-attractant Lantana that was off-trail. I swear like 30 species at once on that thing it was redonkulous.

If you’re in Austin, the Blair Woods Sanctuary is open to the public, dawn to dusk. It’s behind The Austin Wildlife Rescue’s intake center. There’s a pond, and two weeks ago it was STILL swarming with dragonflies! Nice little patch of wilderness with some walking trails and rare fungi I guess.

December 12, 2018

nanonaturalist: Giant Floater Mussel, Pyganodo…

nanonaturalist:

Giant Floater Mussel, Pyganodon grandis

Let’s put it in the electron microscope!!

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I had to break tiny parts of the shell off to fit it into the microscope, and one part of it broke off into little needle-like crystals. This is what they looked like up close. Nice!

image

I moved to an intact area, and saw these tightly-packed hexagon structures. Hmmmmmmmmm… I think those crystals in the top photo came from this anatomical feature of the shell. Let’s look at one of the opalescent areas!

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Oh! Look at that! If you need help understanding the information at the bottom, this image is magnified 1350x. The scale bar in the lower left corner represents 50 microns. A human hair, on average, is 100 microns wide. If a piece of your hair was in this image, it would be twice as wide as that scale bar.

These little flaky things are interesting, let’s zoom in!

image

WOW!!! Now we’re zoomed in 2600x. These are crystals that make up the inner portion of the shell, but look: they’re thin plates, and they grow in layers! The size is interesting, too. You know how the insides of shells shine kinda rainbow-ey? I’m guessing it has something to do with the size–visible light is roughly 400 to 750 nm in wavelength, so physical structures in those sizes tend to do strange things with light (you think butterflies limit themselves to pigmentation? HA think AGAIN!). And these crystal plates are about the right size! 

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Here’s a different area with those crystals, but with mysterious holes! What are they for?! 

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ENHANCE. This was the zoomiest I could get. Look at those crystals! Nice!

Before I left, I needed to take a look at the outside of the shell.

image

Since the electron microscope looks at things so close up, it’s possible that this is all just sand. But it could also be minerals bound together with a protein matrix, which is what I believe the outer shell of these is! I was looking around for an area that looked more “shelly” and I found… this:

image

Uh… I have no idea what this is… But it was embedded in the outer shell of that mussel! UPDATE! IT’S A DIATOM!!!! 😀

If you have electron microscope requests, keep sending them in! I’ll keep doing these until they kick me out the door on Feb 28 OR until I quit which is HOPEFULLY way earlier than that!

December 7, 2018

@thatmcufangirl Oh boy prepare to clutch your pearls (I guess maybe literally if you’re doing oysters!) and be horrified. Here’s the sample before I switched to electron beam mode:

It ain’t coated. It’s not a “real” SEM in the sense that your lab has access to. We can’t get 20,000x either. The diatom is 13,500x, and that’s PUSHING our best resolution. We have a Phenom desktop SEM, but the cheapest model, and the charge reduction sample holder lets you throw samples in without coating them at all. We could probably get better resolution if we did coat them a little, but before I discovered the secret of that sample holder, our “brilliant” senior scientist (who was promoted to department director…) was having us coat everything in the gold sputterer for 20 minutes and our samples were coming out terrible because… uh… well… You can probably guess.

I don’t have any good tips based on what I know from experience BUT I would suggest possibly looking into other coatings (do you have access to carbon?). When I did nanowires and nanoparticles, before imaging in TEM, we coated them in carbon. Another possibility is 120s is too long. What do the other oyster people use? (Lit review time!)

December 7, 2018

Leaf of a Candlestick Tree (Senna alata), magn…

Leaf of a Candlestick Tree (Senna alata), magnified 3900x, viewed with a scanning electron microscope. 

The leaf dried up a long time ago, and I’d been meaning to take a look at it. The leaves are superhydrophobic, meaning water beads up into a perfect ball and just rolls right off of them. This often happens when plants have nano-scale structures on the leaves which mess around with the surface tension of the water, and it creates a self-cleaning surface. This is more well known in the lotus. I’m guessing that’s what all those texturey bits in here are, despite how shriveled the leaf was! When they are more hydrated, they might look like tiny little fingers. You can also see the stoma despite this poor leaf being all dry and dead.

December 6, 2018

that mushroom time lapse post made me think ab…

that mushroom time lapse post made me think about how the sex organs of some fungi look similar to penises and now my mind is blown. like??? why would human sex organs look similar to the sex organs of a mushroom please help

i was actually reading about this in a book the other day (the intro was talking about the penis-like structures of stinkhorns specifically). the answer is….its purely a coincidence. 

for fungi, the goal of a mushroom is to spread their millions of children far and wide. they do this by running into a compatible fungus under the ground and ‘mating’ with them, meaning that they fuse a little and start building the initial fungus structure. when it’s finished, they just inflate the already-finished cells with water, which is why they can sprout up out of nowhere overnight and why they have the ‘inflating’ effect u see in those gifs (note: this doesn’t count for shelf mushrooms and other long-lasting mushroom structures, where the fungi just build a really hearty structure that they grow new layers on each year, but if we’re talking about Dick Fungi then we’re talking more about the ones that sprout from the ground and wilt in a few days/weeks). fun fact, this is what a stinkhorn mushroom looks like before it’s inflated

nervous.jpg. to pick the above image apart a little, stinkhorns work by having a coat of sticky, smelly substance full of spores coating their very-nsfw-ish caps that attracts insects to carry it off into the sunset. in this pic, the outer layer is a protective covering that the mushroom breaks through, the brownish jelly stuff just inside that is the spore substance that coats the mushroom, the greenish layer forms the actual head of the mushroom, and the white layer forms the stalk. this is easier to see when u look at an inflated one (that in this case has a lot of the spore goop already eaten off): 

this is an especially lewd patch with one inflated and two uninflated. its just very unfortunate lmao, like….really unfortunate in this case holy shit

anyway, the resulting structure- which spits spores that are the sexual result of the two fungi mating- is apparently just functional. if you want to spread your spores, you want to be high enough off the ground for the wind to carry them off or for bugs to see it or for water to hit it or w/e, so u gotta have a stalk to support the actual spore structure. from there, u just gotta have something to transmit the spores, wether it be by wind or water or w/e, and for whatever reason….they just Look Like That. like thats just…..a very unfortunately highly effective shape, i guess. 

“Safe Space” Stagmomantis carolina…

“Safe Space” Stagmomantis carolina (Carolina mantis) adult gray female accepts mealworm. Such a good girl. #stagmomantiscarolina
#carolinamantis #carolina #prayingmantis #mantodea #mantis #nature #wildlife #animals #invertebrate #insect #science #entomology #alien #pets #photography #blackandwhite #mantismonarch
https://www.instagram.com/p/BpfILZLAFJB/?utm_source=ig_tumblr_share&igshid=1e5je9rah709n

Regular

“But Can You Do This?” Gonatista grisea (Florida bark mantis) adult male.

Regular

“Sunday Fun Day” Deroplatys lobata (dead leaf mantis) female nymph.

Regular

“Thick Antenna Club” Phyllocrania paradoxa (ghost mantid) sub-adult male elected official ambassador.

Regular

“Missing You” Hierodula patellifera (Asian green mantis) adult female. Oh how I miss my Indira.