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Epiphytic plants growing on a sheer vertical granitic wall of El Peñón de Guatapé, a rock formation in the region of Antioquia, Colombia.
Just about everywhere we look in the world, there is something beautiful to see. Each organism is a masterpiece and its relationship with others is beautiful. The bee is given nectar by the lavender while returning the favor by carrying pollen from one flower to the next. Biology is full of these mutually beneficial relationships, reminding us that—while we see the horrifying results of sin in death and suffering—life could not exist without cooperation between organisms.
Forest of Scalesia. Scalesia is a genus of plants in the Asteraceae family that is endemic to the Galápagos Islands.
In the Galapagos Islands there are several areas with dense mangroves. Mangroves and beach bells disperse thanks to their seeds dragged by ocean currents.
These large flowers (about 45 cm in size) are produced by the western African plant Pararistolochia goldieana. It is also known as "African corpse flower," because of its intense scent that attracts flies as pollinators. Pollination is an excellent example of interdependence between different organisms. Photo taken by Dr. Oluwole Oyedeji, about 25 km south of Ibadan, Nigeria.
Land snails on agave plant. These terrestrial gastropods cope with hot and dry conditions during the day by entering a dormant state called "aestivation." A membrane of dried mucus provides attachment and insulation, and the light color of the shell helps to reflect sunlight. Photo taken by Dr. Oluwole Oyedeji, near Casablanca, Morocco.
The genus name Glossopteris comes from the shape of these leaves: it means "tongue-shaped feather." These leaves are a typical fossil of Permian strata from continents of the southern hemisphere and were important for the development of the theory of continental drift. Specimen on display at the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History.
Candelabra Cactus. The flowers of this plant provide food for a species of Galapagos finches.
Opuntia Cactus: Opuntia is a genus that includes 200 species of cacti, all with broad, flat leaves. Of those species, only six grow in the Galapagos: Opuntia echios, Opuntia galapageia, Opuntia helleri, Opuntia insularis, Opuntia saxicola, Opuntia megasperma.
Fossil branches and leaves of an araucarian tree from the Cretaceous of the Crato Basin, Brazil. On display at the Paleontological Museum of Santana do Cariri
Flowering plants appear abruptly in the fossil record in Mesozoic strata. Here is an example of an exquisitely preserved sycamore-like leaf from the Cretaceous of Kansas. Specimen (several cm in size) on display at the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago.
Stasis and plants: specimens of fossil maple leaves and fruit from the Miocene of Oregon. On display at the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago
A perfectly preserved fish resting by a perfectly preserved palm frond...This slab on display at the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, comes from Fossil Lake Basin, Wyoming, a locality that has yielded exquisite specimens of a variety of organisms. Special conditions are required for this kind of uncommon preservation.
Trimerophytes were leafless vascular plants, with branches departing from the stem in a spiral pattern. This specimen containing multiple stems (several cm in size) is from the Devonian of Quebec, on display at the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago.
Fossil impressions of palm fronds exposed on a verticalized bedding surface of fine sandstone in the Maastrichtian Laramie Formation, near Golden CO. The integrity of individual fronds implies that minimal decomposition took place prior to burial. Scale bar is 40 cm long.
Large fossilized redwood stump preserved in Eocene deposits at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument (CO). Volcanic activity was essential for rapid burial and petrification of this stump. Vertical side of notebook (for scale) is 19 cm long.