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Tiny Green Bug May Be First Photosynthetic Animal
Pea aphids may have an unprecedented ability to harvest sunlight, and use the energy for metabolic purposes. It would make it the only species of animal known to have photosynthesis-like powers.
The surface of plants (with a few exceptions, such as those that live submerged under water) is covered with a tough, transparent, waxy layer called the cuticle, composed of cutin secreted by the layer of epidermal cells that it covers. The best way to see the cuticle is to snap the leaf of a drought-adapted succulent plant like Crassula ovata and pull one part of the leaf against the other, peeling away the cuticle, which covers the above ground parts like a wrapping of cling-film. These…
Autumn Leaf Colour Wheel - Stock Image - C011/1884
An arrangement of autumn leaf colours. This colour change is a phenomenon that affects the normally green leaves of many deciduous trees and shrubs by which they take on, during a few weeks in the autumn season, one or many colours that range from red to yellow.
The Ultimate Solar Cells
These green blobs are chloroplasts - in this instance packed inside the cells of a moss leaf and magnified around 400 times - upon which our collective future depends. Using only energy from sunlight, water and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, they produce the oxygen we breathe, control the climate by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and, directly or indirectly via plants and animals, produce all the food we eat. Currently 6.3 billion of us depend on them for our survival. By…