Sunday, March 4, 2012

Evolution and Inheritance

Part of the evolutionary process is the inheritance of traits from ancestors. Anything that's alive carries some of the traits of its ancestors and all living things share certain traits. For example, we humans do aerobic respiration (we require oxygen to breathe). So do plants. The fact that we have a backbone characterizes us as a modular organism. Plants are modular too.

Elm branches

Sometimes inherited traits are obvious. More often they are not. For several years now I've pondered how angiosperms (flowering plants) are related to ferns. In many ways they look radically different. But I've been focusing my camera on an unexpected similarity plants share with ferns: circinate vernation, the unfurling of leaves or other parts of the plant. Here are some of pictures my pictures on that story.

Circinnate Vernation in a Fiddlehead Fern

Circinnate vernation

Geranium Circinnate Vernation

Cohosh Unfurling

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