What is the biggest creature in the world? Many netizens can’t help but say: “blue whale”, it is the real overlord in the ocean, a blue whale’s body length is at least more than 30 meters, and the whole weight has reached hundreds of tons. However, according to the investigation and research of scientists, the largest individual life in the world is not the blue whale at all, but Pando. Its weight is more than 30 times that of the blue whale, about 6000 tons, and its life span has reached 80000 years, which can be said to be the oldest creature on earth. So what is Pando? Today, we will introduce Pando in detail to help you uncover its mystery.
Pando: the trees share a huge root system with exactly the same genes
Pando is not a kind of animal, but a kind of plant. Its scientific name is Zhan Yang, also known as American Aspen, golden aspen and so on. It means a forest. It is located in the fish Lake National Forest ranch near highway 25 in Utah. The biggest difference between Pando and other forests is that the genes of Pando’s forests are exactly the same. They share a huge root system. When it comes to the topic of “genes”, it is estimated that some people will ask: “will there be two people with exactly the same genes in this world?”
There will be such a situation, but the probability is so small that it is almost impossible, about one in 200 million. Previously, triplets appeared in foreign countries with identical genes, which is very rare in the world. In plants, it’s rare that pandolin’s genes are identical. As like as two peas, the total number of trees in Pando forest has exceeded more than 40000. The more than 40000 trees have the same gene, representing the same length, even height. The more than 40000 trees have a long live age of eight, and share a large root system, with a total weight of 6000 tons and an area of about 400 thousand square meters. However, it is worth mentioning that although Pando is a dense forest with more than 40000 trees on the surface, it is actually “one tree”, which is why it has the same gene.
The scientist said: “Pando forest is a clonal plant. The stems of Populus tremulosa are all independent and can grow lateral roots. These lateral roots can extend to the ground and teach lessons from the ground. Each tree is independent. More than 40000 trees are 40000 independent individuals. But in fact, these more than 40000 trees are developed from a single seed, and the roots of each tree interact with each other underground Together. “
Some people say that such an ancient creature is an independent individual. If it has lived on the earth for such a long time, will it be lonely? Although Pando forest is a forest, it is also a “tree”. It has existed on the earth for 80000 years, which seems to be a long time. However, Pando forest is not alone, because it can “communicate underground” through its roots. Pando forest is a forest that shares huge roots. The new roots growing on the ground will communicate with each other. In the natural world, almost all the root surfaces of trees have fungi attached, forming the so-called mycorrhizal complex network structure. The existence of mycorrhiza not only contributes to the absorption of water and minerals, but also mediates the complex process of organic matter synthesis and transportation. Through mycorrhiza, underground communication can be carried out
How did Pando, the oldest creature, come into being?
The biggest feature of Pando forest is that the bark surface of each tree is very smooth, and this kind of tree is also divided into female and male. Generally, when the female trees are 2-3 years old, they will carry their seeds with them to another place and then take root again. There are more than 40000 trees in Pando forest. They are all male. The whole Pando forest is developed from one tree and sprouts from the paternal roots to form new trees. Pando forest, which has been 80000 years old, should have appeared since the ice age. A seed came here and then took root. It can be said that Pando forest is the oldest living body in the world.
The age of trees is calculated by rings. How is the age of Pando forest measured?
Whether it’s a single tree or a whole forest, it’s the most common plant in our daily life. If we want to know the age of a tree, we will calculate the tree ring, which is a cambium in the phloem of the stem. If we cut a tree horizontally, we will see a circle in the belly of the tree. These circles are different in size. There are some small circles in the big circle. For these circles of different sizes, people call them growth rings. Every year, the trunk and branches of the tree grow a new layer. So, every circle you see here represents the year of the tree. In addition to looking at tree rings, there are many ways to measure the age of trees. For example, people can use a special drilling tool to drill the bark into the heart of the tree, and then take out the slice, on which there are all the tree rings.
So is Pando Lin’s age calculated in the same way? Not all trees are aged according to their rings, because the growth cycle of each tree is different. So how did the old Pando forest calculate its age?
There are many ways to calculate the age of trees. In addition to looking at the tree rings, you can also estimate the age by measuring the trunk of the tree. But for the age calculation of the ancient Pando forest, the way scientists use is to poke the tree heart. This method needs to drill a hole in the wood, drill a small section of tree sample, and then pass through the center of the tree after sampling. The length is greater than 75% of the diameter of the tree. For example, by searching for some references, sampling and analyzing the age of the same trees, and combining with the relevant advanced scientific and technological equipment, the scientists finally accurately calculated that the age of Pando forest was 80000 years old.
Why is Pando forest so old? What affects its life?
In the long-term scientific research, scientists believe that the life span of trees is higher than that of animals, because the “constitution” of trees is stronger than that of animals. Why? For example, for some animals, if there is no suitable living environment or food source, they will die of disease or starvation. Just like the drone ants, their life span is very short, only three weeks to survive. It can be said that this is absolutely sick, while the beautiful dragonfly, its life span is only four months, which makes many people incredible.
In contrast, trees are different. Even in harsh environments, trees still grow tenaciously. Their “disease resistance genes” are very strong, and they don’t need to be threatened by the outside world. In the in-depth study of Pando forest, scientists found that the key factor affecting the longevity of Pando forest is its “gene”. Pando forest is actually a tree. The whole forest shares an ancient root system. The genes of more than 40000 trees are exactly the same. This special gene of Pando forest affects its life span. In other words, when Pando forest was exposed to various natural and unnatural threats from 80000 years ago, other herbaceous species and animals would not be able to survive in the long-term environment Pando forest can grow for a long time in the environment of “no foothold”, thanks to its powerful genes.
In addition, scientists have found that different trees have different genes and different lifespan. For example, the life span of pine trees is generally more than one thousand years. Its pine pollen is the essence cell of pine tree pistils. It is the essence of pine trees, carrying all the passwords and longevity genes of pine trees. Compared with poplar, its life span is very short, generally 30 to 40 years, few live more than 100 years. The short life span of poplar is related to its gene. Poplar is a fast-growing tree species, which grows fast and ages fast. In addition, spruce, some Eucalyptus and other trees have extended genes to resist drought, severe cold and other environmental pressures, and their lifespan is relatively long. Generally speaking, different trees have different genes and DNA, and their lifespan is also different. Therefore, the immune system genes of trees play an important role in their longevity.
The picture shows the location of Pando forest
Pando forest, the oldest living creature in the world, is about to die
For humans, it’s lucky to find Pando forest, the oldest living creature on earth. Because Pando forest can help us uncover some of the genetic mysteries hidden in nature. Unfortunately, in recent years, scientists found that Pando forest was affected by many external factors, such as fire, human overgrazing, long-term drought and so on. In the past 40 years or so, Pando forest stopped self breeding.
Scientists believe that the emergence of this situation indicates that Pando forest is on the verge of extinction. This ancient creature has no genetic diversity. Nearly 80% of the trees in Pando forest are in danger. The direct reason why Pando forest can become what it is today is the influence of human society. In addition to human beings, there are also some herbivorous animals in the forest, which constantly gnaw on the roots of trees in Pando forest. If there is no new roots to supply, the Pando forest will disappear completely on this earth soon.
The blue earth is our common home. Today’s ancient Pando forest is doomed. For us, we should have a profound reflection. After all, every species has the right to survive. We can’t destroy the natural ecological environment for the sake of social development, because the ecological environment in nature is the material basis for our human survival. If our ecological environment is stable, we can’t destroy the natural ecological environment If it is seriously damaged, it will seriously affect the survival of our human beings, so from this moment on, let’s join hands to advocate low-carbon green travel, refuse white garbage pollution, protect the earth home on which human beings depend, and strive to build a beautiful world.