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The Natural World

Any topic related to science can be discussed here.
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Lifelinking
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The Natural World

#1 Postby Lifelinking » March 29th, 2008, 2:18 pm

I wondered if it might be interesting to have a place where members could share thoughts, ideas and observations about nature. Perhaps to post photographs of flora and fauna taken when out and about, and so on. To kick us off I thought I would post a photograph of some fungus growing on a stump on the path up to Whinny Hill on Loch Lomond side last week. It struck me as rather beautiful.

Image

Has anybody got any idea of what kind of fungus it is?




L
"Who thinks the law has anything to do with justice? It's what we have because we can't have justice."
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Fia
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Re: The Natural World

#2 Postby Fia » March 29th, 2008, 5:14 pm

I don't know the latin name, and I may be wrong, but I think it is horseshoe fungus which is fabulous for lighting fires. (you don't need much and so don't kill the beautiful plant)
They are most commonly found up the trunks of dead trees.

edited to add Nice idea for a thread L :thumbsup:

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Lifelinking
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Re: The Natural World

#3 Postby Lifelinking » March 29th, 2008, 6:09 pm

thanks Fia. Your post reminded me of walking with my dad when I was a small child, when he showed me 'tinder' fungus growing on the side of trees.

I had a search around and think that the fungus I photographed may be

Coriolus Versicolor or Trametes versicolor popularly known as 'Turkey Tail' apparently (although I could see how it could get the name Horseshoe too)

If you follow the links below they look very similar

http://www.amanita-photolibrary.co.uk/photo_library/BI_fungi/Coriolus_versicolor.htm

http://www.fungiworld.co.uk/images/fungi3L.jpg

I noticed that there are loads of 'alternative' websites making extravagant claims about the alleged medicinal properties of this fungus :puzzled:
"Who thinks the law has anything to do with justice? It's what we have because we can't have justice."
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Lifelinking
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Re: The Natural World

#4 Postby Lifelinking » March 30th, 2008, 1:18 pm

It seems that there has been some legitimate research into the "Protein-bound polysaccharide (PSK)" that "is derived from the CM-101 strain of the fungus Coriolus versicolor"

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez

However there also seem to be plenty of places that will sell quack 'potions' based on the stuff.
"Who thinks the law has anything to do with justice? It's what we have because we can't have justice."
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Alan C.
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Re: The Natural World

#5 Postby Alan C. » March 30th, 2008, 4:15 pm

This was taken from the main road that runs through Lerwick.
Image
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Re: The Natural World

#6 Postby Lifelinking » March 31st, 2008, 7:47 pm

What a great photograph Alan. Is that a Grey Seal?
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Re: The Natural World

#7 Postby Alan C. » March 31st, 2008, 8:11 pm

Lifelinking wrote:What a great photograph Alan. Is that a Grey Seal?
Yes I think so, despite the name "common seals" aren't that common (not here anyhow).
I can't take credit for the photo though, (but I do Know exactly where it was taken) It was taken by a professional photographer for the tourist board web site.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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Alan H
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Re: The Natural World

#8 Postby Alan H » March 31st, 2008, 8:30 pm

Lifelinking wrote:What a great photograph Alan. Is that a Grey Seal?
A Grey Seal? I thought it was a self-port... :exit:


:D :D :D
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Re: The Natural World

#9 Postby Alan C. » March 31st, 2008, 8:55 pm

Alan H wrote:
Lifelinking wrote:What a great photograph Alan. Is that a Grey Seal?
A Grey Seal? I thought it was a self-port... :exit:


:D :D :D

No Alan! This is me (the one on the left) Although the beard is no more, and sadly Toby pbuh is no more either.
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If I get another dog I'm going to call him Mohamed, I think they are even more offended by dogs than they are by teddy bears. :D
Now can we get back on topic and have some nice pics of nature? :wink:
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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Re: The Natural World

#10 Postby Thomas » April 1st, 2008, 4:27 pm

When it comes to photographing the natural world, I'm still a learner. The fungus and the seal are stunning.

Here's a more mediocre fuschia xmas cactus

Image

And here's what seemed to me to be a rather unusual ladybird - maginified, obviously!

Image

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Alan C.
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Re: The Natural World

#11 Postby Alan C. » April 1st, 2008, 5:50 pm

Thomas wrote:When it comes to photographing the natural world, I'm still a learner. The fungus and the seal are stunning.

Here's a more mediocre fuschia xmas cactus

Image

And here's what seemed to me to be a rather unusual ladybird - maginified, obviously!

Image

Nice pics Thomas, I believe it a Harlequin ladybird.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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Lifelinking
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Re: The Natural World

#12 Postby Lifelinking » April 1st, 2008, 8:08 pm

I think the pics are fab Thomas. I have a real soft spot for fuschias. My son loves bugs, and when he saw the ladybird photo his exact words were "Oh Wow!"
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MedMae
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Re: The Natural World

#13 Postby MedMae » April 2nd, 2008, 8:47 am

The ladybird is a Harlequin ladybird. It's a invading species originating in south east asia. There larvae have a tendency to eat the larvae of the native ladybird species driving them to extinction. It has already spread throughout most of the us and thanks to some stupid farmers in europe is rapidly spreading throughout europe wiping out the native species as it goes.
Complexity is just simplicity multiplied to a point which exceeds a particular level of comprehension. - Theowarner

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Lifelinking
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Re: The Natural World

#14 Postby Lifelinking » April 2nd, 2008, 9:27 am

Really useful info Medmae. Inspired by it I dug around a little and found the site of the Harlequin Ladybird Survey where there is a lot of information about them and a facility to submit information and photographs of any sightings.
"Who thinks the law has anything to do with justice? It's what we have because we can't have justice."
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MedMae
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Re: The Natural World

#15 Postby MedMae » April 2nd, 2008, 10:50 am

I just get really pissed off by the irresponsibility of those who introduced them. Especially the farmers who did it in europe. It had already been determined that it is a very bad idea to introduce this species because it is so invasive but they did it anyway. And will they get any punishment for it? I think not!
Complexity is just simplicity multiplied to a point which exceeds a particular level of comprehension. - Theowarner

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Alan C.
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Re: The Natural World

#16 Postby Alan C. » April 2nd, 2008, 12:16 pm

Some lichens growing on rocks at Sumburgh head.
Image

And Britain's most northerly lump of rock, the lighthouse on Muckle Flugga just north of Unst, it's described locally as "the full stop at the end of Britain"
Image
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Re: The Natural World

#17 Postby Thomas » April 2nd, 2008, 2:14 pm

Thanks all for the information about Harlequin ladybird. I'd never heard of it but having googled it and looked at images I find myself bewildered by the range of colour schemes it can have. It would include what I had always thought of as the usual ladybird colours.
Image

Indeed the article in the Daily Mail illustrated by those photos starts:
Don't be fooled by appearances. It may look like the same delicate insect which has graced our gardens for centuries.


Does anyone have a clue as to how to tell them apart?

MedMae wrote:I just get really pissed off by the irresponsibility of those who introduced them. Especially the farmers who did it in europe. It had already been determined that it is a very bad idea to introduce this species because it is so invasive but they did it anyway. And will they get any punishment for it? I think not!

How did they do it?

MedMae
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Re: The Natural World

#18 Postby MedMae » April 2nd, 2008, 2:35 pm

How to identify the Harlequin ladybird.
There are 3 distinct color forms of the Harlequin ladybird 2 are black with red spots. The third is red/orange with black spots.

Native (to the uk) ladybirds are yellow with thirteen black spots and very small, Red with 7 spots (this is the largest of the native ladybirds) and red with 2 spots. (Well these are the common ones)

The only ones which look similar are the red ones with black spots. However the Harlequin ladybirds have more than 7 black spots. Native red ladybirds never have more than 7 black spots. Harlequin ladybirdsa are also roughly twice the size of the largest native ladybird.

More detailed information and pictures can be found here.
http://www.harlequin-survey.org/recognition_and_distinction.htm

The Harlequin ladybird was introduced both to europe and the us as a form of biological pest control with the thinking that bigger is better. Using predatory organisms as a from of pest control is a good idea but there are good ways of doing it and bad ways. In Europe they where introduced into greenhouses to control pests, I'm sure they where supplied by a company claiming to be "Environmentally friendly".

Biological pest control in this form can work and be non-harmful to the environment but only when native life forms are used. Otherwise there is too much risk of damage to the native flora and fauna.
Complexity is just simplicity multiplied to a point which exceeds a particular level of comprehension. - Theowarner

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Re: The Natural World

#19 Postby Maria Mac » April 2nd, 2008, 7:35 pm

Butterflies snapped while on holiday in Florida.

Image

Image

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Re: The Natural World

#20 Postby Lifelinking » April 2nd, 2008, 10:42 pm

If I may remark, I am loving the responses on this thread. Who would have thought we could have informative discussions about ladybirds and wonderful photographs of fuschias, ladybirds, butterflies and lichen all in the one place. The whole thing has been worthwhile if for no other reason than finding out there is a place called 'Muckle Flugga'! Thank you everybody.




L
"Who thinks the law has anything to do with justice? It's what we have because we can't have justice."
William McIlvanney


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