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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Trilobite Bottoms: Molting, Molting, Molting

      Trilobite bottoms (or pygidia) are found in sedimentary rocks, evidence of the molting life cycle of these intriguing fossils.



      The fossilized remains of these primarily Paleozoic fossils sometimes show the molting process quite distinctly:




     Rather than finding the whole fossil with its namesake distinct three parts



sometimes only the trilobite bottoms are found:






      Molting, molting molting. . .




      When first searching the web for trilobite bottoms here's the image that popped up first:




      Trilobite bottoms came up as a topic for this week's PEOTS as I was planting artichoke plants (nasty, spiky, weedy looking things):




        It was a small leap from artichoke bottoms (which are, of course, also known as hearts)


 
to trilobite bottoms. . . .

Looking forward to Tri lo bite of the artichoke bottoms soon!

Steph

And for those science grads:




     



29 comments:

  1. I have always wondered who the first brave soul was to tear through all those spikes to try an artichoke. . .

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    Replies
    1. Maybe related to the same soul who thought to cook tapioca, after all his or her predecessors succumbed to konzo? Or the one who thought, well, everyone else who's eaten pufferfish has died, but maybe if I carefully remove this organ here, I'll have some delicious fugu?

      The only other place I've see the root of pygidium, fundament-ally, is in the curious "callipygian" -- who knew we needed a word for that? A popular subject for sculptors and other artists through the ages.

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    2. Is writing about cassava poisoning considered konzo journalism? Hunter S. Thompson could certainly relate to ingesting potentially dangerous substances.

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    3. Hmmmmm, "other artists" is a real stretch, jan.

      You say cassava, I say cassaba.And then there's Elon Musk saying casaba. . .

      Tapioca is a fun word; I am glad to know more about it. Konzo was new to me.

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    4. I was referring to photographers.

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    5. Pygmalion--now there's an artist! ;-)

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    6. That's a pyg of a different color.

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    7. Okay, I'm just trying to keep up here, but let me get this straight. Am I to understand that artichoke bottoms are callipygian?

      LegoTooOftenTheButtOfTheJoke

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    8. And asparagus tips are the opposite, Lego?

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  2. Replies
    1. An oldie, but goodie, jan.

      Verizon, CenturtyLink, and Blogger all on the fritz today. . .and I don't mean Mondale.

      We'll see if this post posts.

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    2. And that's Centurdy, btw ;-)

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    3. jan,

      I had not seen that cartoon before. It is excellent! Thank you for posting it. A well-equipped playground is indeed much like an outdoor physics lab.

      LegomentumLimnertia

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    4. Jan, Lego, and all PEOTSers: The physics cartoon reminded me of this newly posted chemistry cartoon ^^^^^.

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    5. You can tell they're graduated cylinders because the tassels are on the left.

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    6. ;-)

      My corn tassels lean left also.

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    7. jan,

      I had not seen that cartoon before. It is excellent! Thank you for posting it. A well-equipped playground is indeed much like an outdoor physics lab.

      LegomentumLimnertia

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    8. Hmmmm, reposting > 12 hours later. Weird.

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  3. Clever bottoms comment over at Blaine's, jan!

    Internet and phone service rocks.

    The CenturyLink guy was hesitant to go in our yard and asked for a plastic bag to cover the "poison ivy."
    .
    "Show me, please."

    Five leaves are Virginia Creeper (which I have) and poison ivy has three leaves (which I do not). He thanked me for "Leaves of three, beware of me!" He said it would help in his career at CL.

    Do you have Virginia Creeper where you are PEOTSers? A little web search showed VC does often grow with poison ivy. . .but not here too often.

    And, with Vincent Musetto's passing, there must be a "Virginia Creeper" headline about a botanist stalker from Richmond somewhere. . .(or it's ready for that happenstance!).

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  4. Not sure whether I have VC or not. I certainly have PI. But my main botanical foe is my neighbor's bamboo, which is always threatening to take over my yard. There's really no stopping that stuff, just continually cutting it back. It can grow a half foot a day or more.

    The scientific name of Virginia Creeper is Parthenocissus quinquefolia, or five-leaved virgin ivy. I had never considered that parthenos root before. It seems unclear why the Parthenon in Athens was so named, probably having to do with a group of young girls chosen to serve Athena. I knew about some organisms that usually reproduce sexually but are capable of parthenogenesis, where embryos develop without fertilization, but I never considered the etymology.

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    Replies
    1. Virginia Creeper spreads like bamboo here, jan. Interesting about the parthenos root (ha!) for "Virgin Ivy." Hence, the Virginia, I suppose. . .

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    2. Other way around: the common name is for its native location; the scientific name is just a translation.

      I sometimes tell my patients that they tell me what's wrong with them and I translate it into Latin. E.g., they say they have a sore throat, I say, you have pharyngitis.

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    3. Do you recommend they see a Trachea Dr ? ;-)

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  5. Steph, how about a more expert opinion on this? I expect to see more alarmist headlines in the popular press, like "New NASA data show how the world is running out of water", than in academic journals, like "Quantifying renewable groundwater stress with GRACE". But, how good is the science behind this study? I.e., how well can the state of the world's aquifers be inferred by gravimetric readings like this? Don't other things -- I don't know, oil or magma plumes, maybe -- affect the density that these satellites measure? Or is this gloom really appropriate?

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    Replies
    1. Today is not a good day to ask this question as I am dealing with basement flood due to our recent rains, ruined carpet, etc. There is plenty of water here! Will give it some thought and respond more later.

      Also, PEOTS may well be taking the week off; we'll see how it goes.

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    2. So that's where all the water has been going! Sorry to hear it.

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    3. Me, too. Our neighbor to the south is sharing the water overflow. We Coloradans are just not used to all this rain. It was the wettest May in recorded history in Denver.

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  6. New post on ferrofluids is now up. Liquids--what else?! Enjoy!

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