Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Natural World Close-Up

I've spent my lazy hours today perusing a lovely book I got out of the library, The Natural World Close-Up, edited by Giles Sparrow. It's a terrific collection of microscope images, with nice explanations of what you are seeing. Some are just amazing. Above is the foot of an ordinary house fly, showing its exquisite design. (x1500)

The trichomes (tiny hairs) of a sage leaf. Each hair has a "secretory head," which exudes droplets of oil from its tip. It is this oil that gives sage its smell and taste. (x690)

The scales of a beetle's carapace (x720).

Spores exiting the fruiting body of a moss. (x490)

The hairs on a bee's leg, laden with pollen grains. (x500)

That's no harpoon, it's the hunting spike of a cone shell. (x15)

Nummulitic Limestone from north Africa (x3). There are hundreds of other pictures in the book, which I highly recommend.

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