Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mosses - plants with teeth
























The developing spore capsules of wall screw-moss, Tortula muralis, spotlit by the low winter sun.



The capsules are still in the early stages of development but when they're ripe they'll shed their spores through a remarkable mechanism that involves the uncurling of a set of teeth, twisted like a screw thread, arranged around the mouth of the capsule. You can see them here.

8 comments:

  1. The lighting on the first shot is excellent. Thanks for linking back to your earlier post about this Moss, I hadn't seen it but have now, of course, learned something new - thank you Phil.

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    1. The light was just right for a short while toffeeapple, just skimming over the top of the wall - lucky to be in the right place at the right time...

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  2. Nice backlit shot! I find photographing mosses to be very challenging - so little stays in focus at the macro scale!

    I followed your link - fascinating! Nature never ceases to amaze me.

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    1. I know what you mean about photographing mosses Ellen - most of my pictures of them are disappointing, with too much confusing out-of-focus detail.

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  3. Those moss capsule setae resemble optic fibres in your second pic, Phil - is this another instance of nature having got there first?

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  4. Interesting thought Rob.I think Faberge would have made moss capsules as jewellery if he'd been known about them, with all their lids and secret compartments...

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  5. Hello Phil,

    I have ended up here after a quick internet search to find out about the moss I photographed last Saturday. The picture is on my blog

    http://lizzielenard-vintagesewing.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/a-pretty-picture-for-sunday-moss-on.html

    I am so glad I ended up here - the moss is more fascinating than I could have hoped for.
    I have put a link on my blog post so people can come here and see your beautiful photos.

    Many thanks from Somerset

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  6. Hello Lizzie, thanks for the kind comments, delighted that my blog was useful!

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