Zapatito de Dama


The Cypripedium calceolus, or commonly call “Zapatito de Dama” or “Zapatito de Venus”, is a beautiful orchid that have the flower as a lovely yellow petal with purple spots. It has a little shoe form that is an insect tramp to make sure pollination happen. It is endangered specie.

This plant spent the winter inside the stem, which is horizontal and subterranean and which has buds in where the roots appear. The stem length is over 20 and 60 cm of high.

It usually flowered between the second week of May and the last of June. Each flower last between 11 and 18 days open.

The “Zapatito de Dama” Could be found on North America, Eurasia and Japan. Here in Spain, is only finding on the Pyrenees and on Barcelona and Huesca regions.

On the Aragón’s Pyrenees is place at 1.200 and 1.600 metres of altitude. Here are about 3.225 that are share between Sallent de Gallego (that have 2.300), Pineta (900) and Ordesa (9).

The orchid lives in wet forest or grasslands that are near those first. The main causes of its extinction is its beauty adding also the changes on the ground caused by the humans when try to look them nearer.

We can try to protect these species if we don’t cut or collect them, if we follow the fixed ways and even if we don’t throw anything to the environment.

Here is the web page where I have found the information, I have only post the most important facts of these plant, but if you see the link, there is more fascinating information:

Here is an interesting web page where you can find some information about endangered species in Aragón, about the ecosystem…etc. (all related with our region)

one interesting (probably) ecology web page:

http://esapubs.org/esapubs/journals/ecology.htm#Sco

That video explained one of the Darwin’s trips and how he little by little started to suppose what may have happened with some fossil animals and their situation.

So, he took the HMS Beagle (a boat) in 1831 and left England, at first he arrived at Cape Verde islands. There he was at the top of a cliff above hundreds of feet from the beach and he could find some shells. Here were his first questions: How could they been here? Could the sea be hundreds of feet once?

Once more he took the boat and in this time he arrived at South America. There, in Argentina, he could find some fossils of big quadrupeds like elephants or hippos, so they started another time to ask his-self thing knowing that in Argentina there wasn’t animals like the found ones. He though, How do these quadrupeds get there? Where they go? and also Could they migrate here once?

Here was when Biogeography started to work in Darwin’s mind. At the video the definition of Biogeography is not explain so I have found a simple one in Wikipedia.

Biogeography is the study of the distribution of biodiversity over space and time. It aims to reveal where organisms live, and at what abundance. As writer David Quammen put it, ” Biogeography does more than ask which species? and where? It also asks why? and, what is sometimes more crucial, Why not?.” The patterns of species distribution across geographical areas can usually be explained through a combination of historical factors such as speciation, extinction, continental drift, glaciations (and associated variations in sea level, river routes, and so on), and river capture, in combination with the area and isolation of landmasses (geographic constraints) and available energy supplies.

The idea of change established its roots when he was at South America and noticed an earthquake. Quickly he started to measure all the things he could and discovered that the village have drop the distance above the sea three feet after the earthquake. Darwin started here to suppose that geological changes were released with evolution.

One of the last deductions Darwin made was when he found some claims in a mountain. There he asked another time, How do they get it? and, Where mountains under water once?

Some Questions

– What was Darwin way of work?

– Why were Spanish named?

– What was Biogeography?

– What question was always Darwin asking about?

– What was the last important question saying at the video?

ADAPTATION OF THE ANTEATER

The giant anteaters are animals found in Central and South America, more exactly in areas of grasslands, deciduous forests and rainforests. They feed mainly on ants and termites, sometimes up to 30,000 insects in a single day!

They main characteristics of adaptation are:

  • They have a very keen sense of smell used to located ants.
  • They have poor sight, because they commonly are nocturnal
  • They have claws in each foot, in order to used them to break open ant and termite mounds for feed, as well as use for a effective defence from predators.
  • The anteater walks on its knuckles in order to protect them, giving it a shuffling gait.
  • The anteater’s tongue can reach 60 cm in length and it have sticky for help them to  feed. Their long muzzle without teeth inside also help them to feed.
  • They tail is use to aid balance when they are threatened and have to stand up on its hind legs.

If you want to read more about this animal, I post here the webs in which I have found the information and the photographs:

http://www.vibrationdata.com/Resources/anteater1.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_Anteater

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/species/Giant_Anteater

http://www.opepa.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=196&Itemid=29

Weekend homework about natural selection

Some animals are better suited to their enviroment than others. These ones normally are more likely to survive in their environment.

Talking about anteaters for example, we can start saying that anteaters usually bear a single offspring after a gestation period of 190. They don’t have a lot of offspring, however they produce a number of offspring that is finally reduce because of a predator ( jaguars in this case). This is called over-production. On anteaters exist a considerable regional variation, the ones who live near civilization used to be nocturnal and are almost blind, however the wildest ones are diurnal and usually eat with the day light, they develop the sense of smell to much. These adaptation as well as others are passed into the offspring in order to create new species which are going to be more able to win the struggle for existence. In place near civilizations only the nocturnal anteaters survive, the rest died because haven’t been well adapted to the environment, this idea lead also us to the survival of the fittest, where only the best adapted continued living without a high level of danger and finally to natural selection.

I post some videos explaining:

Fingerprinting

http://www.5min.com/Video/DNA-Fingerprinting-151426157

Electrophoresis

http://www.5min.com/Video/Electrophoresis-Separating-DNA-151426125

Finally, here is a link which contain a “game” that ask questions about electrophoresis

http://biog-101-104.bio.cornell.edu/biog101_104/tutorials/recomb_DNA/recDNA_q8_fs.html

Anita Roberts

She was a molecular biologist who was instrumental in the discovery of the protein TGF-beta. This protein has the potential of playing a dual role of blocking as well as stimulating cancer and it helps in the healing of wounds and fractures. Anita Roberts is one of the most-cited scientists in the world.

Anita Roberts fue una bióloga molecular que descubrió la proteína TGF-beta, proteína esencial en el progreso de la investigación del cáncer. Sus trabajos de investigación es y será una de las mujeres más famosas en el mundo de la ciencia.

Marie Curie

Marie Curie was a physicist and chemist and the only person to receive Nobel Prizes in two different sciences. She also was the first women to receive a novel price. She created the theory of radioactivity and the discovery of polonium and radium. Marie Curie is recognize all around the world like one of the most important women in science.

Marie Curie fue una fisica y quimica polaca autora de la teoría de la radiocatividad y descubridora del polonio y  del radio. Sus grandes avances científicos son reconocidos en el mundo entero. Ha pasado a la historia como la primera mujer en ganar un premio novel  y la primera en ganar uno en química y otro en física.