biology zoology blog benno meyer rochow fungi

FUNGI

Fungi: Amazingly diverse, but neither plant nor animal

Looking at one’s old school books, university notes or lab work not only allows you to reflect on past events in your life, it can also raise questions. Why, for example, did I have to examine mushrooms in the Botany practical? Why are fungi dealt with in Botany classes or featured in botany textbooks? They aren’t plants after all. But they aren’t animals either. So, what are they? Let me tell you: they are the most interesting of all life forms! —>—>

biology zoology blog benno meyer rochow summerian kids wheel invention

DID ANCIENT SUMERIAN KIDS INVENT THE WHEEL?

On a beach in Goa I once observed tiny sand crabs forming perfectly spherical balls out of sand and depositing them around the entrance of their burrows. Observing Nature is not only fun, it inspires and it is said that the Chinese invented paper by copying what wasps did and that flying machines were invented, because humans observed birds and insects. But where did the first wheel-makers get their inspiration from? What could have “got the ball rolling”? Are there any animals or plants that roll or tumble? —>—>

biology zoology blog benno meyer rochow sand fish

Having a Helping Hand in Making Sand: Fish, Foraminifera, Worms and others

I had a brother in law who was an engineer, controlling and supervising the production of different types of glass, a material that is based on sand, lots of it. For that reason, he often had to make business trips to Yemen, a country that exports high-quality sand. Well, my brother always came back with a smile on his sunburnt face and full of praise for the sand’s quality and the locals’ hospitality and friendliness. But one day he returned with fever, feeling dizzy and weak: he had contracted yellow fever and had to spend several months in the isolation ward a hospital. I was wondering, isn’t there enough sand on our beaches? Couldn’t he have obtained his raw material for the glass production elsewhere without risking to get sick? —>—>