Wander Lord

Interesting on art, nature, people, history

Category Archive: Nature

Misconceptions about plants

baobab

baobab


Baobab – the oldest organisms on Earth
Baobab really looks very impressive, but size does not always matter. It is thick because of the wood structure. Baobab, like cactus, accumulates large amounts of water, in fact, its trunk is a sponge. The age of these trees ranges from 1,000 to 5,000 years. The baobab has no annual rings. In fact, the oldest organism on Earth is a spruce. It grows on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Dalarna County. It was born 9500 years ago.

The tree is the slowest growing organism
It is not true. Trees are large, do not move, live for centuries, and their growth is almost imperceptible.
One clam which lives deep on the ocean floor grows ten times slower than the spruce and oak. Tindaria callistisormis grows very slowly. It needs more than a century to grow up to eight millimeter.
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Microbes and the good they do

Microbes and the good they do

Microbes and the good they do


When the word ‘microbes’ is mentioned, people have the tendency to think of damage and disease. But life on Earth would not be possible without microbes. They are everywhere: in the air, on the land, even in the harshest parts of the world. Every inch of every surface of our body is covered with micro-organisms. Billions of them thrive on our skin. Millions are found elsewhere inside us. The total weight of bacteria living in the human body is 2 kilograms.
They make up more than two-thirds of the world’s biomass.
They are micro-organisms, living creatures that are too small to be seen by the naked eye. Two types of microbes are bacteria and viruses. Bacteria have the tools to reproduce themselves, by themselves. They are filled with fluid, and may have threadlike structures to move themselves, like a tail. A virus may have a spiny outside layer, called the envelope. Viruses have a core of genetic material. Viruses cannot reproduce on their own. They infect cells and take over their reproductive machinery to reproduce.
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What is remarkable about your heart?

What is remarkable about your heart?

What is remarkable about your heart?


Our heart is an amazing organ that keeps blood moving through the blood vessels. It is the main organ of the cardiovascular system.
Heart pumps blood to the lungs, back to the heart, out to every part of the body, and back to the heart again. This round trip takes about a minute.
The blood carries digested food and oxygen to all parts of body. The blood also picks up a waste gas called carbon dioxide.
When you relax, the heart pumps about two and a half liters of blood a minute through the body. But if you run or jump, heart speeds up because muscles need the extra oxygen for energy.
Heart is a marvelous mechanism which keeps time with our lives. It’s never had a day off!
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Sakura – Japanese cherry

Sakura – Japanese cherry

Sakura – Japanese cherry

Sakura is a national symbol of Japan. Its image is on the arms of the police and armed forces. The scientific or botanical name of sakura is Prunus serrulata. Bird cherry is its closest relative. There are about 16 species and more than 400 varieties of sakura. Flowering period lasts for about a week.
In Buddhism blooming sakura is a symbol of impermanence and transitory nature of life. Poets associate it with a bygone youth and love. Sakura also symbolizes the female youth and beauty.
Hanami is the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the beauty of blooming sakura. It is in the list of official holidays. Thousands of people fill the parks to hold feasts under the flowering trees. The blossom forecast is announced each year by the Japan Meteorological Agency.
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Ants – insect castle builders

Ants - insect castle builders

Ants – insect castle builders

Ants have been on Planet Earth for more than 140 million years. There are more than 12,000 different kinds of ants. They are found almost everywhere in the world, but they are most common in hot areas.
All ants live in colonies. Each colony has at least one or more queens. The job of the queen is to lay eggs. Worker ants look for food, look after the young, and defend the nest from unwanted visitors.
The Slave-Maker Ant raids the nests of other ants and steals their pupae. When these new ants hatch, they work as slaves within the colony.
Red Ants have a sting which they use to defend their nest. Black Ants and Wood Ants can squirt a spray of formic acid. Some birds put ants in their feathers because the ants squirt formic acid which gets rid of the parasites.
One of the most interesting kinds of ants is the ‘army ant’. It eats living things!
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Saturn – gas giant

Saturn – gas giant

Saturn – gas giant

Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun in the Solar System. It is named after the god of agriculture in Roman mythology. This planet is visible without a telescope.
It is the second largest planet after Jupiter. Like Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune, it is a gas giant.
The astronomer Galileo was the first to use a telescope to view the planet.
The inside of Saturn is probably a core of iron, nickel, silicon and oxygen compounds, with smaller amounts of rocks and dust, then a layer of liquid hydrogen and liquid helium and finally, an outer gaseous layer. The rings extend thousands of miles out from the planet. They are made up mostly of pieces of water ice and dust. Many ancient astronomers believed that Saturn’s rings were its satellites. The rings of Saturn in the novel Martian Way by Isaac Asimov have become a major source of water for the Martian colony.
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Flamingo – beautiful bird

Flamingo – beautiful bird

Flamingo – beautiful bird

Flamingos are tall, mostly pink birds with long legs. They fly and feed in large flocks of hundreds to even millions of birds. They are wading birds, this means they feed while standing or walking in shallow water.
These birds occur in tropical and temperate regions of Africa, Madagascar, India, southern Europe, Caribbean coasts, highlands of the Andes in South America, and on the Galapagos Islands.
Flamingos live in warm regions near lakes and bodies of water called lagoons.
There are five species of flamingo. The greater flamingo is also commonly kept in theme parks and zoos.
The Chilean flamingo is a smaller species, occurring from central Peru through the Andes to Tierra del Fuego.
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