Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New species found 'clinging like microscopic starfish' to Yosemite Icons

Typically, when we hear of new species being discovered on planet Earth, we think of exotic rain forests in far away places. But scientists have recently uncovered a new species of lichen "clinging like microscopic starfish to Yosemite icons such as El Capitan, Half Dome and Vernal Falls, and countless slabs of less famous rock," reports MSNBC.
Science is lucky to have found the lichen, dubbed Altectoria sarmentosa. Lichen, which are an algae-fungus hybrid, are highly susceptible to pollutants in the atmosphere, so they're being wiped out pretty quickly these days.

As it turns out, lichen like the newly discovered species, are responsible for the vibrant rust, cream and black-colored vertical color bands that give many Yosemite icons their character.

(Photo of Half Dome by
Heiko von Raußendorff)


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Pound360 Archive

About Me

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.