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Racomitrium Lanuginosum
March 11, 2012

R. Lanuginosum is a moss which survives desiccation (i.e. being dried out, as seen in the beginning of this video) during periods of no moisture. Cells in the moss survive by consolidating organelles to a small area which is then protected by a sucrose wall. During this period, there is no detectable photosynthetic activity. Within seconds of being exposed to water, however, the moss resumes photosynthesis, regaining full activity in minutes. (more...)

tags: Life in Extreme Environments, Nelson Lakes

location: St Arnaud, Tasman, New Zealand

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DSCN3965
January 9, 2012

1. Scientific name: Pseudopanax crassifolius Common name: Lancewood Maori name: Horoeka2. Lancewood is most interesting for being heteroblastic (having distinct phases in it’ life cycle).The Juvenile form, lasting 15-20 years, is easy to recognize. The plant has a slender main-stemwith long leaves deflecting downwards. Leaves are up to a meter in length while on having a15-20mm width. In appearance, they are slender, waxy, fibrous, toothed leaves. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Field trip Stewart Island

location: Halfmoon Bay, Southland, New Zealand

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Kiwi Feathers
January 7, 2012

1. Scientific name: Apteryx australis Common name: Kiwi Maori name: Tokoeka 2. Feather structure in flightless birds (Ratites), such as kiwi, is significantly different from flighted birds. One difference is the reduction/loss of barbules. Barbules are hook like structure which help feathers adhere, creating a more rigid which aids in flight. Since flight was selected against, barbules were lost. Lacking barbules, kiwis are covered in soft, fluffy down like feathers. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Field trip Stewart Island

location: Halfmoon Bay, Southland, New Zealand

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