Yale Cactus


An interesting exhibit is up at the Peabody Museum at Yale University in New Haven Connecticut. That’s a lot of places in one sentence. Anyway, the <a href="http://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1880&amp;entry_id=1710" title="http://www.newstimes.com/ci_8289066" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.newstimes.com/ci_8289066′;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Danbury News Times</a> has a good story about the tree of life.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">&quot;We have more in common with fungi than plants,&quot; said Michael Donoghue, director of the Peabody Museum of Natural History in New Haven. &quot;Our ancestry with mushrooms is more recent than our ancestry, say, with corn.&quot;…<br />
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Donoghue said that some of the new discoveries are highly surprising. The stars of the show are two giant elephant shrews on loan from the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington — a rare species that’s hard to see live in the United States.<br />
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With long skinny snouts, the two look very much like rodents. But in recent years biologists have, through DNA analysis, grouped them with real elephants, as well as manatees….<br />
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It has two desert succulents — one a New World species from Latin America, the other an Old World species from Africa. They look very much like two species of cactus. In fact, the Latin American cactus is more closely related to flowers like carnations, while the African cactus’ cousins are orchids.<br />
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What this illustrates, Donoghue said, is that if you place very dissimilar species is the same environment — in this case, a desert — they will in time evolve into plants that can best survive a hot dry world. They will become cactus-like….</span><br /></div><br />There are other surprises in the article, and presumably at the exhibit. Now I haven’t been to New Haven in years, except passing through driving between New York and Boston visiting family and all, so I don’t know anything about this here Peabody museum and its evolution exhibit, but it sounds like a nice place to visit in the late stages of winter.<br /><br />


    
    
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