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Posted on Sunday, October 01 - 2006

A road runs through a tall redwood tree in this file photo from 1955. Officials would not disclose the location of Hyperion, the world's tallest tree, for fear that too many visitors could damage the delicate ecology of the California forest where it lives.

Copyright © MSNBC

A redwood tree discovered in a remote California forest has turned out to be the world’s tallest tree, edging out one nearby that had beenthe previous titleholder, a botanist said Friday.Humboldt State University Professor Steve Sillett told Reuters the record-setting tree, named Hyperion, is 379.1 feet tall, besting the previous record holder, the 370.5-foot-tall Stratosphere Giant.Researchers exploring remote and rugged terrain this summer in the Redwood National and State Parks along California’s northernmost coast also discovered two other redwoods taller than the Stratosphere Giant, suggesting there had been many more massive ancient redwoods in the area, Sillett said. Some of those tallertrees may have fallen to loggers, while the remaining ones were saved by a logging ban when the Redwood National Park was expanded in 1978, Sillett said. Officials would not pinpoint the exact locations of the trees out of concern that too many visitors could damage the delicate ecology of the mild, foggy slopes where the trees live “What we have today is a few small remnants that suggest what these trees are capable of doing,” Sillett said.

Copyright: MSNBC .

Views : 1510

Posted on Wednesday, December 01 - 2010

The Jurupa Oak is so old that it was alive during the last Ice Age and before human agriculture.Unlike most plants the ancient oak reproduces by cloning itself after being burned in wildfires, this way it continues to live onwards like a Phoenix rising from the ashes and expands slowly outwardseach time it happens.

Scientists found the oak in an unlikely habitat: dry and hot rocky hills and found that it survives against the odds like an insane sci-fi villain: by cloning itself to continue life after being burned to death.  

View: Full article |  Source: DailyGalaxy  

Views : 1426

Posted on Thursday, September 03 - 2009

A unique form of water collecting is being used in Peru to help solve the lack of water to be found on the hills surrounding the capital, large fog catching nets are set up that are capable of gathering water from the air withoutthe need for rain. "When people from rural Peru move to Lima, the capital, they're looking for a better life.

But things can be tough. It's hard to find a job in the city.The jobs they can getóbus driver, street vendor, construction workeródon't pay well." View: Full Article | Source: National Geographic

Views : 1395

Posted on Saturday, October 06 - 2007

Next time you purchase white button mushrooms at the grocery store, just remember, they may be cute and bite-size but they have a relative out west that occupies some 2,384 acres (965 hectares) of soil in Oregon"s Blue Mountains. Put another way, this humongous fungus would encompass 1,665 football fields, or nearly four square miles (10 square kilometers) of turf. The discovery of this giant Armillaria ostoyae in 1998 heralded a new record holder for the title of the world"s largest known organism, believed by most to be the 110-foot- (33.5-meter-) long, 200-ton blue whale. Based on its current growth rate, the fungus is estimated to be 2,400 years old but could be as ancient as8,650 years, which would earn it a place among the oldest living organisms as well.

A team of forestry scientists discovered the giant after setting out to map the population of this pathogenic fungus in eastern Oregon. The team paired fungal samples in petri dishes to see if they fused, a sign that they were from the same genetic individual, and used DNA fingerprinting to determine where one individual fungus ended. This one, A. ostoyae, causes Armillaria root disease, which kills swaths of conifers in many parts of the U.S. and Canada. The fungus primarily grows along tree roots via hyphae, fine filaments that mat together and excrete digestive enzymes. But Armillaria has the unique ability to extend rhizomorphs, flat shoestringlike structures, that bridge gaps between food sources and expandthe fungus"s sweeping perimeter ever more. A combination of good genes and a stable environment has allowed this particularly ginormous fungus to continue its creeping existence over the past millennia. "These are very strange organisms to our anthropocentric way of thinking," says biochemist Myron Smith of Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario. An Armillaria individual consists of a network of hyphae, he explains. "Collectively, this network is called the mycelium and is of an indefinite shape and size.

View: Full Article | Source: Scientific American

Views : 1388


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