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Grasses have adapted to conditions in lush rain forests, dry deserts, cold mountains and even intertidal habitats, and are currently the most widespread plant type; grass is a valuable source of food and energy for all sorts of wildlife and organics.

The part of the spikelet that bears the florets is called the rachilla.

A spikelet consists of two (or sometimes fewer) bracts at the base, called glumes, followed by one or more florets.

A membranous appendage or fringe of hairs called the ligule lies at the junction between sheath and blade, preventing water or insects from penetrating into the sheath.

The spikelets are further grouped into panicles or spikes.

The perianth is reduced to two scales, called lodicules, that expand and contract to spread the lemma and palea; these are generally interpreted to be modified sepals.

This complex structure can be seen in the image on the right, portraying a wheat (Triticum aestivum) spikelet.

The authors noted that India became separated from Antarctica, and therefore also all other continents, approximately at the beginning of late Aptian, so the presence of grasses in both India and China during the Cretaceous indicates that the ancestor of Indian grasses must have existed before late Aptian.