fun with charophyte impostors

What’s Behind Door Number 302? Part III: A Fern or Something

Room 302 houses not only Squiggly Things and gloves, it’s also home to a host of Leafy Bits.  This is much more Sigyn’s thing and the human female’s.  Flowers are somewhat interesting, but no flowers here.  All this all-green stuff looks alike to me.

fern

Nephrolepis?  Pteridium?  Adiantum?  Who knows?  Who cares!

This one’s a little more interesting.  It has very strangely-shaped leaves.

flytrap

Baldur’s biscuits!  The human female says it eats insects.   Apparently it flaps those eyelashy leaf ends and just snaps them right up!  Now, that’s my kind of vegetation!   Sigyn, do you suppose it eats crickets?  Could we try?  No?  Awww.

Ehehehehe!  Now this is actually my doing.  This tank is supposed to contain Nitella, which the human female uses as the example of “an advanced green alga, a member of the group supposedly the closest kin to land plants.”  She obtains this pondweed from the Alternative Purveyor of Squiggly things (the POST does not stock it).

nitella-not

There is generally some left over at the end of each semester, so she or her staff just dump it right in this tank.  If it survives, they don’t buy new the next semester, just use what’s here.  Thrifty, I suppose.

Except that, as one of the more astute Lab Instructors observed this semester when he put a bit of this under the microscope and up on the television for his class to observe, this isn’t actually Nitella.   Ehehehehe!  I was wondering when someone would notice.

You see, some time ago, I swapped out the Nitella for some other aquatic festoonage.  I don’t even remember what.  The human female has had it under a microscope, but she just scratches her scrofulous head and shrugs.  Near as she can figure, it’s some sort of aquatic moss.   It raises all sorts of questions.  Such as:

What is this stuff?

How long has it been here?

and

How come no one mentioned til now that it absolutely does not resemble Nitella in the slightest?

Instant gratification is a lovely thing, but sometimes the best bits of mischief are those which have to     ripen     slowly…

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