In botany, a fruit is the seed-bearing structure in flowering plants formed from the ovary after flowering. Fruits are the means. Edible fruits, in particular, have propagated with the movements of humans and animals in a symbiotic relationship as a means for seed dispersal and nutrition. Accordingly, fruits account for a substantial fraction of the world's agricultural output, some have acquired extensive cultural and symbolic meanings. In common language usage, "fruit" means the fleshy seed-associated structures of a plant that are sweet or sour, edible in the raw state, such as apples, grapes, lemons and strawberries. On the other hand, in botanical usage, "fruit" includes many structures that are not called "fruits", such as bean pods, corn kernels and wheat grains; the section of a fungus that produces spores is called a fruiting body. Many common terms for seeds and fruit do not correspond to the botanical classifications. In culinary terminology, a fruit is any sweet-tasting plant part a botanical fruit.
However, in botany, a fruit is the ripened ovary or carpel that contains seeds, a nut is a type of fruit and not a seed, a seed is a ripened ovule. Examples of culinary "vegetables" and nuts that are botanically fruit include corn, eggplant, sweet pepper, tomato. In addition, some spices, such as allspice and chili pepper, are fruits. In contrast, rhubarb is referred to as a fruit, because it is used to make sweet desserts such as pies, though only the petiole of the rhubarb plant is edible, edible gymnosperm seeds are given fruit names, e.g. ginkgo nuts and pine nuts. Botanically, a cereal grain, such as corn, rice, or wheat, is a kind of fruit, termed a caryopsis. However, the fruit wall is thin and is fused to the seed coat, so all of the edible grain is a seed; the outer edible layer, is the pericarp, formed from the ovary and surrounding the seeds, although in some species other tissues contribute to or form the edible portion. The pericarp may be described in three layers from outer to inner, the epicarp and endocarp.
Fruit that bears a prominent pointed terminal projection is said to be beaked. A fruit results from maturation of one or more flowers, the gynoecium of the flower forms all or part of the fruit. Inside the ovary/ovaries are one or more ovules where the megagametophyte contains the egg cell. After double fertilization, these ovules will become seeds; the ovules are fertilized in a process that starts with pollination, which involves the movement of pollen from the stamens to the stigma of flowers. After pollination, a tube grows from the pollen through the stigma into the ovary to the ovule and two sperm are transferred from the pollen to the megagametophyte. Within the megagametophyte one of the two sperm unites with the egg, forming a zygote, the second sperm enters the central cell forming the endosperm mother cell, which completes the double fertilization process; the zygote will give rise to the embryo of the seed, the endosperm mother cell will give rise to endosperm, a nutritive tissue used by the embryo.
As the ovules develop into seeds, the ovary begins to ripen and the ovary wall, the pericarp, may become fleshy, or form a hard outer covering. In some multiseeded fruits, the extent to which the flesh develops is proportional to the number of fertilized ovules; the pericarp is differentiated into two or three distinct layers called the exocarp and endocarp. In some fruits simple fruits derived from an inferior ovary, other parts of the flower, fuse with the ovary and ripen with it. In other cases, the sepals, petals and/or stamens and style of the flower fall off; when such other floral parts are a significant part of the fruit, it is called an accessory fruit. Since other parts of the flower may contribute to the structure of the fruit, it is important to study flower structure to understand how a particular fruit forms. There are three general modes of fruit development: Apocarpous fruits develop from a single flower having one or more separate carpels, they are the simplest fruits. Syncarpous fruits develop from a single gynoecium having two or more carpels fused together.
Multiple fruits form from many different flowers. Plant scientists have grouped fruits into three main groups, simple fruits, aggregate fruits, composite or multiple fruits; the groupings are not evolutionarily relevant, since many diverse plant taxa may be in the same group, but reflect how the flower organs are arranged and how the fruits develop. Simple fruits can be either dry or fleshy, result from the ripening of a simple or compound ovary in a flower with only one pistil. Dry fruits may be either dehiscent, or indehiscent. Types of dry, simple fruits, examples of each, include: achene – most seen in aggregate fruits capsule – caryopsis – cypsela – an achene-like fruit derived from the individual florets in a capitulum. Fibrous drupe – follicle – is formed from a single carpel, opens by one suture
The Devonian is a geologic period and system of the Paleozoic, spanning 60 million years from the end of the Silurian, 419.2 million years ago, to the beginning of the Carboniferous, 358.9 Mya. It is named after Devon, where rocks from this period were first studied; the first significant adaptive radiation of life on dry land occurred during the Devonian. Free-sporing vascular plants began to spread across dry land, forming extensive forests which covered the continents. By the middle of the Devonian, several groups of plants had evolved leaves and true roots, by the end of the period the first seed-bearing plants appeared. Various terrestrial arthropods became well-established. Fish reached substantial diversity during this time, leading the Devonian to be dubbed the "Age of Fishes." The first ray-finned and lobe-finned bony fish appeared, while the placoderms began dominating every known aquatic environment. The ancestors of all four-limbed vertebrates began adapting to walking on land, as their strong pectoral and pelvic fins evolved into legs.
In the oceans, primitive sharks became more numerous than in the Late Ordovician. The first ammonites, species of molluscs, appeared. Trilobites, the mollusc-like brachiopods and the great coral reefs, were still common; the Late Devonian extinction which started about 375 million years ago affected marine life, killing off all placodermi, all trilobites, save for a few species of the order Proetida. The palaeogeography was dominated by the supercontinent of Gondwana to the south, the continent of Siberia to the north, the early formation of the small continent of Euramerica in between; the period is named after Devon, a county in southwestern England, where a controversial argument in the 1830s over the age and structure of the rocks found distributed throughout the county was resolved by the definition of the Devonian period in the geological timescale. The Great Devonian Controversy was a long period of vigorous argument and counter-argument between the main protagonists of Roderick Murchison with Adam Sedgwick against Henry De la Beche supported by George Bellas Greenough.
Murchison and Sedgwick named the period they proposed as the Devonian System. While the rock beds that define the start and end of the Devonian period are well identified, the exact dates are uncertain. According to the International Commission on Stratigraphy, the Devonian extends from the end of the Silurian 419.2 Mya, to the beginning of the Carboniferous 358.9 Mya. In nineteenth-century texts the Devonian has been called the "Old Red Age", after the red and brown terrestrial deposits known in the United Kingdom as the Old Red Sandstone in which early fossil discoveries were found. Another common term is "Age of the Fishes", referring to the evolution of several major groups of fish that took place during the period. Older literature on the Anglo-Welsh basin divides it into the Downtonian, Dittonian and Farlovian stages, the latter three of which are placed in the Devonian; the Devonian has erroneously been characterised as a "greenhouse age", due to sampling bias: most of the early Devonian-age discoveries came from the strata of western Europe and eastern North America, which at the time straddled the Equator as part of the supercontinent of Euramerica where fossil signatures of widespread reefs indicate tropical climates that were warm and moderately humid but in fact the climate in the Devonian differed during its epochs and between geographic regions.
For example, during the Early Devonian, arid conditions were prevalent through much of the world including Siberia, North America, China, but Africa and South America had a warm temperate climate. In the Late Devonian, by contrast, arid conditions were less prevalent across the world and temperate climates were more common; the Devonian Period is formally broken into Early and Late subdivisions. The rocks corresponding to those epochs are referred to as belonging to the Lower and Upper parts of the Devonian System. Early DevonianThe Early Devonian lasted from 419.2 ± 2.8 to 393.3 ± 2.5 and began with the Lochkovian stage, which lasted until the Pragian. It spanned from 410.8 ± 2.8 to 407.6 ± 2.5, was followed by the Emsian, which lasted until the Middle Devonian began, 393.3± 2.7 million years ago. During this time, the first ammonoids appeared. Ammonoids during this time period differed little from their nautiloid counterparts; these ammonoids belong to the order Agoniatitida, which in epochs evolved to new ammonoid orders, for example Goniatitida and Clymeniida.
This class of cephalopod molluscs would dominate the marine fauna until the beginning of the Mesozoic era. Middle DevonianThe Middle Devonian comprised two subdivisions: first the Eifelian, which gave way to the Givetian 387.7± 2.7 million years ago. During this time the jawless agnathan fishes began to decline in diversity in freshwater and marine environments due to drastic environmental changes and due to the increasing competition and diversity of jawed fishes; the shallow, oxygen-depleted waters of Devonian inland lakes, surrounded by primitive plants, provided the environment necessary for certain early fish to develop such essential characteristics as well developed lungs, the ability to crawl out of the water and onto the land for short periods of time. Late DevonianFinally, the Late Devonian started with the Frasnian, 382.7 ± 2.8 to 372.2 ± 2.5, during which the first forests took shape on land. The first tetrapods appeared in the fossil record in the ensuing Famennian subdivisi
The Triassic is a geologic period and system which spans 50.6 million years from the end of the Permian Period 251.9 million years ago, to the beginning of the Jurassic Period 201.3 Mya. The Triassic is the shortest period of the Mesozoic Era. Both the start and end of the period are marked by major extinction events. Triassic began in the wake of the Permian–Triassic extinction event, which left the Earth's biosphere impoverished. Therapsids and archosaurs were the chief terrestrial vertebrates during this time. A specialized subgroup of archosaurs, called dinosaurs, first appeared in the Late Triassic but did not become dominant until the succeeding Jurassic Period; the first true mammals, themselves a specialized subgroup of therapsids evolved during this period, as well as the first flying vertebrates, the pterosaurs, like the dinosaurs, were a specialized subgroup of archosaurs. The vast supercontinent of Pangaea existed until the mid-Triassic, after which it began to rift into two separate landmasses, Laurasia to the north and Gondwana to the south.
The global climate during the Triassic was hot and dry, with deserts spanning much of Pangaea's interior. However, the climate became more humid as Pangaea began to drift apart; the end of the period was marked by yet another major mass extinction, the Triassic–Jurassic extinction event, that wiped out many groups and allowed dinosaurs to assume dominance in the Jurassic. The Triassic was named in 1834 by Friedrich von Alberti, after the three distinct rock layers that are found throughout Germany and northwestern Europe—red beds, capped by marine limestone, followed by a series of terrestrial mud- and sandstones—called the "Trias"; the Triassic is separated into Early and Late Triassic Epochs, the corresponding rocks are referred to as Lower, Middle, or Upper Triassic. The faunal stages from the youngest to oldest are: During the Triassic all the Earth's land mass was concentrated into a single supercontinent centered more or less on the equator and spanning from pole to pole, called Pangaea.
From the east, along the equator, the Tethys sea penetrated Pangaea, causing the Paleo-Tethys Ocean to be closed. In the mid-Triassic a similar sea penetrated along the equator from the west; the remaining shores were surrounded by the world-ocean known as Panthalassa. All the deep-ocean sediments laid down during the Triassic have disappeared through subduction of oceanic plates; the supercontinent Pangaea was rifting during the Triassic—especially late in that period—but had not yet separated. The first nonmarine sediments in the rift that marks the initial break-up of Pangaea, which separated New Jersey from Morocco, are of Late Triassic age. S. these thick sediments comprise the Newark Group. Because a super-continental mass has less shoreline compared to one broken up, Triassic marine deposits are globally rare, despite their prominence in Western Europe, where the Triassic was first studied. In North America, for example, marine deposits are limited to a few exposures in the west, thus Triassic stratigraphy is based on organisms that lived in lagoons and hypersaline environments, such as Estheria crustaceans.
At the beginning of the Mesozoic Era, Africa was joined with Earth's other continents in Pangaea. Africa shared the supercontinent's uniform fauna, dominated by theropods and primitive ornithischians by the close of the Triassic period. Late Triassic fossils are more common in the south than north; the time boundary separating the Permian and Triassic marks the advent of an extinction event with global impact, although African strata from this time period have not been studied. During the Triassic peneplains are thought to have formed in what is now southern Sweden. Remnants of this peneplain can be traced as a tilted summit accordance in the Swedish West Coast. In northern Norway Triassic peneplains may have been buried in sediments to be re-exposed as coastal plains called strandflats. Dating of illite clay from a strandflat of Bømlo, southern Norway, have shown that landscape there became weathered in Late Triassic times with the landscape also being shaped during that time. At Paleorrota geopark, located in Rio Grande do Sul, the Santa Maria Formation and Caturrita Formations are exposed.
In these formations, one of the earliest dinosaurs, Staurikosaurus, as well as the mammal ancestors Brasilitherium and Brasilodon have been discovered. The Triassic continental interior climate was hot and dry, so that typical deposits are red bed sandstones and evaporites. There is no evidence of glaciation near either pole. Pangaea's large size limited the moderating effect of the global ocean; the strong contrast between the Pangea supercontinent and the global ocean triggered intense cross-equatorial monsoons. The Triassic may have been a dry period, but evidence exists that it was punctuated by several episodes of increased rainfall in tropical and subtropical latitudes of the Tethys Sea and its surrounding land. Sediments and fossils suggestive of a more humid climate are known from the Anisian to Ladinian of the Tethysian domain, from the Carnian and Rhaetian of a larger area that includes the Boreal domain, the North
The term agouti or common agouti designates several rodent species of the genus Dasyprocta. They are native to Middle America and central South America, the southern Lesser Antilles; some species have been introduced elsewhere in the West Indies. They look quite similar, but are larger and have longer legs; the species vary in colour, being brown, dull orange, greyish or blackish, but with lighter underparts. Their bodies are covered with coarse hair, raised when alarmed, they weigh 2.4 -- 6 are 40.5 -- 76 cm in length, with short, hairless tails. Confusingly, the related pacas were placed by some authorities in a genus called Agouti, though Cuniculus has priority and is the correct term. In Western Africa, the name "agouti" designates the greater cane rat which, while an agricultural pest, is sought to be consumed as a delicacy bushmeat. In Mexico, the agouti is called the sereque. In Panama, it is known as the guatusa; the name "agouti" is derived from either Guarani or Tupi, both South American indigenous languages, in which the name is written variously as agutí, agoutí, or acutí.
The popular Brazilian Portuguese term for these animals, cutia, is derived from this original naming. Agoutis have three hind toes; the tail is short or nonexistent and hairless. The molar teeth have cylindrical crowns, with a single lateral fold of enamel. Agoutis may grow to be up to 60 cm in 4 kg in weight. Most species are whitish or buff on their bellies. Reports differ as to whether they are nocturnal animals. In the wild, they are shy animals and flee from humans. In Trinidad, they are renowned for being fast runners, able to keep hunting dogs occupied with chasing them for hours. Agoutis are found in wooded areas in Central and South America, their habitats include rainforests, savannas and, cultivated fields, depending on the species. They conceal themselves at night in burrows among roots. Active and graceful in their movements, their pace is either a kind of trot or a series of springs following one another so as to look like a gallop, they take to water, in which they swim well. When feeding, agoutis hold food between their fore paws.
They may gather in groups of up to 100 to feed. They eat fallen fruit and roots, although they may sometimes climb trees to eat green fruit, they will hoard food in buried stores. In a pinch, they have been seen eating the eggs of ground-nesting birds and shellfish on the seashore. Sometimes, they can cause damage to banana plantations, they are regarded as one of the few species that can open Brazil nuts without tools thanks to their strength and exceptionally sharp teeth. In southern Brazil, their main source of energy is the nut of Araucaria angustifolia. Agoutis give birth to litters of two to four young after a gestation period of three months; some species have two litters a year in October, while others breed year round. Young are born into burrows lined with leaves and hair, they may be up and eating within an hour. Fathers are barred from the nest while the young are small, but the parents pair bond for the rest of their lives, they can live for a remarkably long time for a rodent. Azara's agouti, Dasyprocta azarae Black agouti, Dasyprocta fuliginosa Black-rumped agouti, Dasyprocta prymnolopha Central American agouti, Dasyprocta punctata Coiban agouti, Dasyprocta coibae Crested agouti, Dasyprocta cristata Kalinowski's agouti, Dasyprocta kalinowskii Mexican agouti, Dasyprocta mexicana Orinoco agouti, Dasyprocta guamara Red-rumped agouti, Dasyprocta leporina Ruatan Island agouti, Dasyprocta ruatanica Paca Lowland paca Sereque: The Cutest Mexican Rodent You’ll Ever Meet.
Mexico News Network. Video and information of Azara's agouti "Agouti". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1911. "Dasyprocta". Encyclopedia Americana. 1920
The acouchis are rodents belonging to the family Dasyproctidae from the Amazon basin. They are smaller than agoutis and have short tails, while agoutis lack tails. For this reason the acouchis are called tailed agoutis; the two species — the red acouchi in the Guianas of Amazonia and nearby parts of Brazil, the green acouchi in western Amazonia - differ in coloration and other characteristics. The taxonomy of the genus has been confused, with some authors applying the "M.acouchy" name to the green acouchi, in which case the red acouchi is called M. exilis. Although this issue has now been resolved, other problems remain, they are with bright orange or red parts on their heads. Acouchis live in riverbanks, where they dig holes. Like the common agoutis, but unlike the much larger pacas, acouchis are active at day and feed on fruit. Acouchis depend on their tails to convey their readiness to mate. Confident, ready males will hold their tails erect and begin to wag them, whereas the more timid, but still aroused, males will wag their tails in a downward position.
Females will signal their interest by erecting their tails while arching their backs downward. The litter size is two. Voss, R. S. Lunde, D. P. & Simmons, N. B. 2001. Mammals of Paracou, French Guiana: a Neotropical lowland rainforest fauna. Part 2. Nonvolant species. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 263:1-236
The black-rumped agouti is an agouti species from the family Dasyproctidae. It is endemic to Brazil, its range equals the Northeast Region, it is named after its black rump which contrast with the orange body. Infonatura
Squirrels are members of the family Sciuridae, a family that includes small or medium-size rodents. The squirrel family includes tree squirrels, ground squirrels, marmots, flying squirrels, prairie dogs amongst other rodents. Squirrels are indigenous to the Americas and Africa, were introduced by humans to Australia; the earliest known squirrels date from the Eocene period and are most related to the mountain beaver and to the dormouse among other living rodent families. The word "squirrel", first attested in 1327, comes from the Anglo-Norman esquirel, from the Old French escurel, the reflex of a Latin word sciurus; this Latin word was borrowed from the Ancient Greek word σκίουρος, which means shadow-tailed, referring to the bushy appendage possessed by many of its members. The native Old English word for the squirrel, ācweorna, survived only into Middle English before being replaced; the Old English word is of Common Germanic origin, cognates of which are still used in other Germanic languages, including the German Eichhörnchen, the Norwegian ikorn/ekorn, the Dutch eekhoorn, the Swedish ekorre and the Danish egern.
Squirrels are small animals, ranging in size from the African pygmy squirrel at 7–10 cm in length and just 10 g in weight, to the Laotian giant flying squirrel at 1.08 m in length and the Alpine marmot, which weighs from 5 to 8 kg. Squirrels have slender bodies with bushy tails and large eyes. In general, their fur is silky, though much thicker in some species than others; the coat color of squirrels is variable between—and even within—species. In most squirrel species, the hind limbs are longer than the fore limbs, while all species have either four or five toes on each paw; the paws, which include an poorly developed thumb, have soft pads on the undersides and versatile, sturdy claws for grasping and climbing. Tree squirrels, unlike most mammals, can descend a tree head-first, they do so by rotating their ankles 180 degrees, enabling the hind paws to point backward and thus grip the tree bark from the opposite direction. Squirrels live in every habitat, from tropical rainforest to semiarid desert, avoiding only the high polar regions and the driest of deserts.
They are predominantly herbivorous, subsisting on seeds and nuts, but many will eat insects and small vertebrates. As their large eyes indicate, squirrels have an excellent sense of vision, important for the tree-dwelling species. Many have a good sense of touch, with vibrissae on their limbs as well as their heads; the teeth of sciurids follow the typical rodent pattern, with large incisors that grow throughout life, cheek teeth that are set back behind a wide gap, or diastema. The typical dental formula for sciurids is 184.108.40.206.0.1.3. Many juvenile squirrels die in the first year of life. Adult squirrels can have a lifespan of 5 to 10 years in the wild; some can survive 10 to 20 years in captivity. Premature death may be caused when a nest falls from the tree, in which case the mother may abandon her young if their body temperature is not correct. Many such baby squirrels have been rescued and fostered by a professional wildlife rehabilitator until they could be safely returned to the wild, although the density of squirrel populations in many places and the constant care required by premature squirrels means that few rehabilitators are willing to spend their time doing this and such animals are euthanized instead.
Squirrels mate either once or twice a year and, following a gestation period of three to six weeks, give birth to a number of offspring that varies by species. The young are altricial, being born naked and blind. In most species of squirrel, the female alone looks after the young, which are weaned at six to ten weeks and become sexually mature by the end of their first year. In general, the ground-dwelling squirrel species are social living in well-developed colonies, while the tree-dwelling species are more solitary. Ground squirrels and tree squirrels are either diurnal or crepuscular, while the flying squirrels tend to be nocturnal—except for lactating flying squirrels and their young, which have a period of diurnality during the summer; because squirrels cannot digest cellulose, they must rely on foods rich in protein and fats. In temperate regions, early spring is the hardest time of year for squirrels because the nuts they buried are beginning to sprout, while many of the usual food sources have not yet become available.
During these times, squirrels rely on the buds of trees. Squirrels, being herbivores, eat a wide variety of plants, as well as nuts, conifer cones, fruits and green vegetation; some squirrels, however consume meat when faced with hunger. Squirrels have been known to eat small birds, young snakes, smaller rodents, as well as bird eggs and insects. Indeed, some tropical squirrel species have shifted entirely to a diet of insects. Predatory behavior has been observed in various species of ground squirrels, in particular the thirteen-lined ground squirrel. For example, Bailey, a scientist in the 1920s, observed a thirteen-lined ground squirrel preying upon a young chicken. Wistrand reported seeing this same species eating a freshly killed snake. Whitaker examined the stomachs of 139 thirteen-lined ground squirrels and found bird flesh in four of the specimens and the remains of a short-tailed shrew in one.