Tuesday, June 10, 2014

NATURE NOTES

 We found an aquarium at Meadowlark Gardens in the visitor center, which house Fire-bellied Toads.  I have yet to see one as they seem to be elusive, but this interesting plant always catches my eye.  It is a Venus Fly Trap, the first one I have ever seen.  It is quite small in comparison to those I have seen on nature shows, only a few inches high. 


According to what I read here at Wikipedia, some of which information many probably know of, "The Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) is a carnivorous plant native to subtropical wetlands on the East Coast of the United States.  It catches its prey - chiefly insects and arachnids - with a tripping structure formed by the terminal portion of each of the plant's leaves, and is triggered by tiny hairs on the inner surfaces.  When an insect or spider crawling along the leaves contacts a hair, the trap closes if a different hair is contacted within 20 seconds of the first strike.  The requirement of redundant triggering in this mechanism serves as a safeguard against a waste of energy in trapping objects with no nutritional value."




There are also two objects nearby that caught my curiosity, the first was what looks like an ammonite (a fossilized shell).  Whether it is a real one or purely fake for decorative purposes I am not sure.  But it sent me on a refresher search.  I read at Wikipedia here that "Ammonites are  an extinct group of marine invertebrate animals in the subclass Ammonoidea of the class Cephalopoda.  These molluscs are more closely related to living coleoids (i.e. octopuses, squid and cuttlefish) than they are to shelled nautiloids such as the living Nautilus species.  The earliest ammonites appear during the Devonian, and the last species died out during the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event."



Now for the object above.  I asked the gentleman behind the counter at the center if he knew what it was.  He didn't so I have written to the garden with the hopes that they will satisfy my curiosity before this is posted. 

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