Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oldest Living Organisms

Wonderful slide show of the oldest living organisms on earth. Includes a few things I've never seen or heard of.

Here's a lovely shot of my favorite BORG otherwise know as the trembling aspen. This grove is actually a single organism that can transport moisture and nutrients through its underground root system from rich sites to poor sites. If you attack it by hacking off branches, it defends the larger hive-self by sending up new connected shoots to ensure it's survival. A worthy foe for Chronos.

1 comment:

Kevin Aschim said...

It's fun to think of whole poplar stands being a single organism. if this concept were taught in schools, we would have a better appreciation for the whole ecological energy and nutrient supply chain and the interconnectedness of everything as opposed to the more linear and silo way of thinking that we are taught.

The other thing is that virtually all vascular plants are as much symbiotic organisms (with mycorrhizae) as are their more famous lichen cousins. The only difference is that the algal partner has evolved to a vascular plant and the lichen has evolved to a nutrient gathering organism.

And finally, your post inspired me to wonder what and where is the oldest hand planted tree on earth?