STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books

Lichen-looking

bristly beard 2012Instead of books I’m looking at lichens. They’re an odd lot, these crusty-looking aliens that I find around my yard. They look sort of greenish and make their own food using sunlight, but they don’t have flowers or leaves or roots. So they’re not plants.

They’re also not just one thing, but instead are a composite of two organisms: fungi and algae. Usually the algae is sandwiched in between layers of the fungi. Lichens have a symbiotic relationship – both organisms benefit. The algae make food, and the fungi provide the structure and help retain moisture.

And they come in all sorts of shapes and colors, from orange crusts on rocks to those that are having “bad hair days”. Head on over to Archimedes Notebook –  you might be surprised to discover where you’ll find lichens in your life.

 

STEM Friday

It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

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Author: Sue Heavenrich

I write about science and environmental issues for children and their families.

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