ORGANIC STYLE

eggshell the structure of an eggshell is revenaled as a tangled network of mineralized fibres in the scanning electron micrograph at magnification of 500 times.

eggshell forms around a mat of proteins, which is coated and overgrown by calcium carbonate and other mineral salts. the result is a tough, waterproof package that still allows gas exchange between the inside and the outside, enabling the developing embryo to “ breathe ”, while providing astonishing mechanical strength.

bromeliad seeds seeds of puya raimondi, a member of the pineapple family( bromeliaceae ) are shown here at about seven times their true size. these little seeds were produced by an enormous plant. Puya raimondi can reach more than 10 metres in height and bear leaf rosettes 2 metres in diameter. it takes between 50 and 70 years to reach reproductive maturity, before it produces a flower spike four metres tall. the seeds are released from capsules, which split open once mature, and are shaken loose by the wind. dark field illumination reveals the embryo in each seed to be surrounded by a translucent extension that protects it and acts as a sail, helping the seeds to travel away from the parent plant before reaching the ground.

spider and web this spider has been photographed on its web using ultraviolet light; special filters on the camera eliminate visible wavelengths. the spider has woven a conspicuous zig-zag pattern of silk, called  a stabilimentum, in the centre of its web. there are several theories as to why spiders make thses structures. one is that they make the web more visible and so less likely to be damaged by birds and large insects flying into it inadvertently. the spider belongs to the genus argiope, a member of the garden spider family, which lives in warm temperate regions. the actual lenght of the spider’s body is about 8 millimetres.

spongy bone this macrophotograph shows the spongy bone from a humen thigh bone ( the femur), magnified approximately eight times. spongy bone is found at the expanded ends of long bones, such as the bones of the arms, legs, fingers and toes. it also makes up the bulk of irregular bones like the skull and vertebrae. the open mineral structure seen here, composed of interconnected trabeculae, is surrounded in the life by blood vessels and bone marrow. the spongy structure is both light and strong, especially resistant to bending and stretching.

Frog spawn this light micrograph shows the frog spawn of the European edible frog rana temporaria, magnified 13 times.

the male fertilizes the eggs externally as the female lays them in the pond. the eggs float in tapioca- like mass protects the developing embryos from shock and drying out, and makes attack  by predators more difficult. tadpoles hatch from the eggs to live and grow in the water, gradually metamorphosing into amphibious adults.

 

MODERN STYLE

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