Year of the Snake (part 2)

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 has some very fine examples of the suborder.

Sad result of a python's external plane ride

Everglades hunt for invasive pythons

Rat snake ranges may expand with climate change

Finally, the world's longest reticulated python is a performer named Medusa who works in a haunted house. She is twenty-five feet, two inches long. I hope we all do as well as Medusa this year!


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