NK0531 : A species from the deep past

taken 8 years ago, 3 km from Whinnyfold, Aberdeenshire, Great Britain

A species from the deep past
A species from the deep past
The common horse-tail, Equisetum arvense, is an ancient species of plant whose ancestors were browed by dinosaurs. Modern horsetails are only a few centimetres high but their ancestors included tree-like species up to 200 feet in height living in the Carboniferous forests. They all evolved long before the flowering plants came along and they produce spores rather than seeds.

Horsetails grow in moist, rich soils in all parts of the world except Australasia. Some, including ours, produce two kinds of shoots. The first shoots to emerge in the spring are the reproductive squad and are topped with cone-like clusters of spore capsules. These are the ones in the photograph. In a couple of weeks time they will be replaced with green shoots whose role in life will be photosynthesis, growth and replenishing the energy stores.
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NK0531, 7 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
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Date Taken
Thursday, 21 April, 2011   (more nearby)
Submitted
Sunday, 24 April, 2011
Geographical Context
Lowlands  Grassland  Wild Animals, Plants and Mushrooms 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NK 058 318 [100m precision]
WGS84: 57:22.6129N 1:54.2719W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NK 058 318
View Direction
EAST (about 90 degrees)
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