2011

NK0531 : A species from the deep past

taken 13 years ago, 3 km from Whinnyfold, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

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 browsed 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.

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Martyn Gorman and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
This photo is linked from: Automatic Clusters: · Past [2] ·
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NK0531, 12 images   (more nearby 🔍)
Photographer
Martyn Gorman   (more nearby)
Date Taken
Thursday, 21 April, 2011   (more nearby)
Submitted
Sunday, 24 April, 2011
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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Image classification(about): Supplemental image
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