Charles Darwin returns home from a geological field trip to find letters inviting him on a voyage round the world. Darwin has problems persuading his father that such an expedition would be a good idea. After securing his father’s agreement he journeys to London to meet Captain Fitzroy. He gathers together some scientific equipment and head towards Plymouth. HMS Beagle leaves Plymouth on 27th December 1831.
Sphagnum Moss and how its spores accelerate incredibly fast; how Sphagnum moss reproduces and preferred habitats; how peat forms from Sphagnum moss; the formation of Sphagnum peatlands by two different processes which include terrestrialization and paludification; blanket bogs and raised peat bogs; some organisms which inhabit these peatlands; conditions in which Sphagnum peatlands thrive.
After dropping out of medical school Darwin studies for a degree at Christ’s College, Cambridge with a view to becoming ordained in the Church of England. Darwin maintains his interest in the natural world. Darwin is introduced to the latest craze of beetle collecting; he becomes the favorite student to the Professor of Botany John Henslow and learns about botany; he goes on a geological field trip to North Wales.
The early life of Charles Darwin in Shrewsbury, England; the death of his mother and his early interests; attending Edinburgh University to study medicine; a lack of interest in a medical career gives the young Charles plenty of time to explore the natural world; Darwin’s first scientific discoveries and his friendship with Robert Grant; membership of the Plinian Society; frienship with a freed black slave and learning taxidermy skills.
The composition of Jupiter including its core, three layers of hydrogen and lower armosphere; an explanation of metallic hydrogen and helium rain; how the lower atmosphere is made up of three different cloud layers; an explanation of the planet’s high pressure zones and low pressure belts; primordial heat inside Jupiter and the extensive jovian magnetic field; auroras, three faint rings and weather on Jupiter.
In this science article we examine Venus; how its atmosphere was similar to Earth’s 4 billion years ago; features of its atmosphere including its huge atmospheric pressure and sweltering heat; features of the planetary surface including continents, shield volcanoes, impact craters, mountains, lava flows and ‘pancake domes'; the planet’s magnetic field and how it differs from Earth’s magnetic field
An explanation of the pollination, seed dispersal by water and gravity, germination and growth of the common coconut or Cocos nucifera; how people use the common coconut and the main reasons for its amazingly wide dispersal; how the coconut fruit is actually a ‘dry drupe’ and has some things in common with peaches and other fleshy fruits; how the male and female flowers develop inside a sheathe.
A description of planet Mercury including its slow rotation around its axis and short orbit around the Sun. An explanation of the planet’s atmosphere, elliptical orbit, magnetic field and the apparent motion of the Sun across the mercurian sky; a description of long mercurian nights and days. The main features of the planetary surface are explained which include some impact craters and impact basins.
Reasons why our hunter gatherer ancestors originally evolved a sense of taste; the five senses of taste explained; how our taste receptors are housed in our taste buds; a description of what taste buds are and how our taste receptors work; the four different types of papillae and where they are located on our tongues; the taste buds of some other organisms including catfish, cows, ducks and cats.
Reasons for the evolution of eyesight during the period known as the Cambrian explosion; how the evolution of eyesight resulted in organisms becoming either prey or predators. An explanation of how eyesight evolved through eight simple steps; recessed light sensitive cells, the pin hole eye including a description of the eye of the nautilus mollusc; the spherical lens with greater refractive powers.