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Showing posts from February, 2013

Year of the Snake (part 2)

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Today's snakes are from Yasmeen Hussain: Ahh! A fluorescent snake! (It's actually a sperm from the sea urchin Lytechinus pictus.) And me, Kylee Peterson. This is a confocal image of plant epidermis, with a stoma as the bigger snake's head and the stomatal pore as its eye. The little snake's green eye is a nucleus expressing a stomatal development gene, and their undulating bodies follow the edges of the puzzle-piece-shaped epidermal cells. Those cells were the biggest surprise to me when I started working with plants. They're actually very common -- most land plants have wavy cell edges to some extent, and they're thought to increase the strength of the epidermis. Snake links: Orgiastic red garter snakes are part of a children's book documenting sex and reproductive arrangements in animals with lovely, distinctive paintings. On the other hand, pit vipers seem fine with parthenogenesis by choice. Discovery Channel's Year of the Snake photo roundup

Year of the Snake (part 1)

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Happy Year of the Snake! Rattlesnake skeleton from the Comparative Anatomy lab, courtesy of Lauren DeBey. Most of us in the department don't actually study snakes, but for the Lunar New Year we can stretch the issue a little bit. From Kevin Turner, we have some fine marine "snakes": Here are a few photos from my work in the San Juan Islands. First two are of a lingcod (Ophiodon elongatus is the scientific name - ophiodon means "snake tooth", visible in the first picture). Second is a double-whammy: a serpulid tube worm and the legs of an ophiuroid brittle star (serpula = "serpent", ophiuroid = "snake-like)! And from Melissa Eng, an artistic rendition: This actually looks to me more like a dragon, but it is semi-fitting, since in Chinese we refer to year of the snake as "tail of the dragon", since last year was the year of the dragon... This is just a photo of a dendritic mutant I am studying, and I just used a distortion tool o…