the oddnesses of forest creatures

some geeky-type interesting stuff:

    the first picture of this session shows the track of a caterpillar/larva. it lived *inside* the leaf, which isn’t thicker that 0,5mm.
    you can also see how the parasite grew/consumed more of the leaf as it got older. AND it didn’t nibble on the leaf’s main “supply line” (passing into the petiole), because if it did, water supply would break down and it would starve.
    i even tend to think that it purposely took the “outer route” first.

    the little brownish globes shown here are slime moulds (myxmycetes). they’re protists, not real fungi, and they’re able to crawl around!
    our microbiology professor told us that you need to keep your petri dishes well shut if you’re working with myxomycetes, because sometimes they’ll creep out :smile:

    some wikipedia info: [en] [de]

    thanks to holger of, for telling me the exact species!

    neottia nidus-avis is a wild orchid that gets nourished by a fungus. therefore, it doesn’t need to produce energy itself and has no green parts at all – the whole plant is usually brown.
    sometimes, it even flowers underground and pollinates itself!

    the giant nest that my dad found – 1 meter in diameter – was interesting, too! it seems to have been there for a long time. every branch was painstakingly assembled, so it’s still unbelievably stable.
    and there’s a tree growing in it – its crown is too small for such a nest, so it probably germinated inside the nest and then kept growing.

uh, and check out the new inntal-valley panorama!

[view photos: the oddnesses of forest creatures]

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