Friday, April 16, 2010

Spring in the Mojave Desert

This diminutive plant has a wonderful flower. This is Lilac Sunbonnet Langloisia setosissima. The whole plant is about 2 inches tall. Check out the blue pollen.

Climbing milkweed, Sarcostemma cyanchoidies, is an important host plant for the larvae of butterflies. Notice the tendrils it uses to cling to other plants for support.
Desert Five Spot. Eremalche rotundifloria. How about that? A scientific name that is very logical. Rotundifloria, round flower. These flowers look like little domes until just before they wilt, then they open up to show off their spots.
Hey, that's no flower! This rattle snake was snoozing in the shade of a creosote shrub until we rudely walked by and disturbed it.
One of the best things about camping is seeing the sunrise.
The clouds were beautiful on Saturday.
A rainbow cloud

Review for exam 4 Bio 120

1. What are two important factors in determining what type of Biome one will find in a given area?

2. What causes the seasons here in North America?

3. What are three strategies plants have developed to survive in the cold dry,and sometimes dark conditions of the Tundra?

4. What kind of adaptations have animals developed to survive in:
A. The tundra
B. The deserts
C. Coniferous forests

5. What is a rain shadow, and how does it account for different plant communities occurring at the same latitude, but on opposites sides of a mountain range?

6. In what biomes does fire play an important role, and what is this role?

7. To what kind of environmental stresses are the plants and animals in the chaparral adapted?

8. How is a deciduous forest different from a coniferous forest, other than the types of trees found in each?

1. Define resource partitioning and give an example of it.

2. How is a parasite different from a parasitoid?

3. How is a parasite different from a predator?

4. How are density dependent limiting factors different from density independent limiting factors? Give examples of each.

5. Coevolution happens also between parasites and their hosts. Why is this not surprising?

6. Define and give examples of the following: Mutualism, Commensalism, social parasite.

7. What are common strategies predators use to capture prey, and common defenses found in prey?

8. Draw a food web that could occur in your backyard or here at Cerritos. Include all the trophic levels we discussed in class.

9. Why are there fewer members of the upper trophic levels as compared with primary consumers or the producers?

10. What is carrying capacity?

9. Why don't grasslands become forests?

10. What is the one thing all deserts have in common?
Labels: Biomes

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Botany Review Questions Exam 3


1. How do biologists define evolution?

2. What is a population?

3. What islands were important to Charles Darwin's thinking on evolution?

4. Biogeography is how living things are distributed around the world. How was Darwin surprised by the the biogeography he observed on his trip around the world?

5. While fossils support the theory of evolution, we can't rely on the fossil record ever being complete. Why?

6. How does the existence of fossils support the theory of evolution?

7. How did LaMarck explain inheritance?

8. What was the hypothesis of catastrophism?

9. While the theory of evolution does not indicate humans came from chimps, it does indicate a _________________________ between chimps and humans.

10. Upon what observations did Darwin base his theory of evolution by natural selection?

11. What is adaptive radiation, and give an example of adaptive radiation in plants.

12. How has evidence from molecular biology supported the theory of evolution?

13. What is sympatric speciation, and how is it different from allopatric speciation?


1. What is the name of the bacteria that do photosynthesis,and what can they do in addition to photosynthesis?

2. In what major way are bacterial cells different from plant cells?

3. Describe how bacterial cells can reproduce.

4. What is in the cell walls of bacteria?

5. What is a capsule used for?

6. What are the three basic shapes of bacteria?

7. What roles do bacteria play in the ecosystem where they are found?

8. How are Archea different from bacteria?

9. Some bacteria live in the roots of plants. What are they doing there?

10. What is a plasmid?

Fungi Questions

1. How are fungi classified?

2. What role do fungi play typically in their habitat?

3. How are fungi different from plants?

4. How do fungi feed?

5. What does heterokaryotic mean?

6. How do fungi spread out in their habitat?

7. The body of a fungus is a thread like structure called a ____

8. A mass of the answer in question 7 is call a ____

9. A lichen is made of a ____ and a ____. What is the ecological role of lichens?

Land Plants, Mosses and Ferns

1. Liverworts and mosses both have a dominant ________ generation

2. What are three ways plants are adapted to life on land?

3. What organisms are believed to be the ancestors of land plants?

4. Sporophytes do what kind of cell division to make spores?

5. Are gametophytes are haploid or diploid?

6. Why are most mosses small?

7. What do ferns have that is missing in mosses and liverworts?

8. Why are horsetails also called scouring rushes?

9. The dominannt generation in the ferns is the ____ generation

10. Under the leaves one can find ____ in ferns


1. What advancement is seen in the gymnosperms compared to the ferns?

2. How are Gingkos and cycads different from conifers?

3. What is in a male cone? What is in a female cone?

4. How are confirs adapted to cold dry climates?

5. What does it mean if a plant is monecious?

6. Ephedra belongs to what division of plants?

7. What is the male gametophyte in the conifers?


1. What is the function of these parts of the flower?

2. Other than the flower, what other advantage do the flowering plants have over the gymnosperms?

3. What is the function of fruit?

4. How is an imperfect flower different from a perfect flower? How is a complete flower different from an incomplete flower?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Carrizo Plain National Monument

The Carrizo Plain is in a remote area of Southern California between the I-5 and San Luis Obispo. It is what California may have been like hundreds of years ago. It is an open expanse of grasslands with gentle rolling hills. It is quiet. Wind and birds are all one hears along with an occasional drone of bees pollinating the flowers at this time of year. There are no gas stations, or stores nearby. The campground has no water, and you pack out what you bring in. Go there.
Owl's clover
Great horned owl in nest. The campground where we stayed had some of the only trees in the area. Consequently there were a host of bird species in the area.
Moonrise over the Temblor Hills
Red-tailed hawk being harassed by a red-winged black bird
The campground shortly after dawn
Wild Hyacinth
In the hills behind the campground
Miles of fiddleneck and Phacelia gave the floor of the plain an orange and purple glow
California poppy
Stork's bill and goldfields paint the fields and hillsides