30 January Science 7 Fruit dissections continued; Partner tree observation and presentation

Mindful moment: In silence, write this in your dsn. Think of your most recent meal. List the things you ate. Describe the way they look. Describe the taste. Where did the food come from? Think of all the people who had a hand in producing the food, transporting the food, selling the food, preparing the food, bringing it to you to eat. Say a little thank you in your mind to all those who made your meal possible–including, of course, the organisms that have become your food. Which of your foods came from plants? What plants? What part of the plant? How much of your meal was based on material from seeds? Explain. How much from plant parts other than seeds? Explain. If you ate non-veg, where did that material come from? What did the animal eat before it became your food? Consider how the plant material was converted into animal tissue. Consider how what you eat becomes you.

Review your dissection work from the last class.

See today’s blog. Submit a question on a notecard with your name.

Prepare your DSN entry. (Some of your work today goes in the GDR/Biodiversity folder; some goes in the Partner Tree folder.)

Follow instructions below.


  1. Finish fruit dissections. You need tomato, capsicum (bell pepper), eggplant (aubergine; brinjal). Also citrus, tamarind (bean family). You may look at the edible fig and the Indian gooseberry, too. Instructions and guiding information is below.

Take pictures, make sketches, write verbal descriptions, make counts and and measures for all the dissections. Be sure your observations are well-labeled and organized. In your DSN, you should have displays of your observations for flower(s) and fruits.

Extra: Create a display of photographs and/or sketches of the fruits and their dissection that you would consider “artistic.”

2. Visit your partner tree. (See previous blogposts/previous DSN entries) for guiding information for observing trees.)

  • Gather information about the leaves–size, shape, structure, arrangement. (Could you build a scale model of the leaf?) (Is your leaf simple, compound, or double compound? How will you tell?) (Sketches and photos) (Rubbing?)
  • Find out about the branching pattern. (Sketches and photos)
  • Examine and describe the bark. (Sketches and photos) (Rubbing?)
  • For your particular specimen, what is the circumference 1.5 meters above the ground? What is your estimate for the height? (Method?) What is the width of the crown?
  • Flowers–where do the flowers appear? If your is in flower, describe, sketch, photograph. If not in flower, find photos and sketches from reliable sources.
  • Fruits (and seeds). If your is in fruit, describe, sketch, photograph. If not in fruit, find photos and sketches from reliable sources. How are the seeds arranged in the fruit? What do the seeds look like? (sketches, photographs)
  • How many individuals of your species can be found on campus? Where are they? How do you recognize individual specimens of your partner species? Describe your “search image.”
  • Find out about the names of your partner species: Scientific, Local (Indian–probably Hindi), Local English. What is the meaning of the name(s)? What is the origin–how did the species get named? The study of the origin of words is called etymology–not to be confused with entomology which is the study of insects.
  • What changes have you observed in your specimen since you started the partner tree project? What are the times/dates for flowering and fruiting?
  • What particular ecological or scientific importance can you find out about your species?
  • Where is your species from botanically speaking? North India, other part of India, Asia, Eurasia, Europe, Africa, the New World–America (N or S), tropical America? If your species is not originally from North India, what can you find out about how it got here?
  • What cultural / religious significance does your species have, if any?
  • What uses have humans found for your species?
  • Make a list of any references that you use. You must include full bibliographic information.
  • You will make a presentation on site to the class describing your partner tree. This presentation will include the observations you have made and the information you have gathered. Use the point above to guide you in preparing your tree talk. 

References/guidance for fruit dissection:

Use this website to help you carefully dissect and document the anatomy of a tomato http://www-plb.ucdavis.edu/labs/rost/tomato/Reproductive/anat.html

Take pictures, make sketches, write verbal descriptions, make counts and and measures for all the dissections. Be sure your observations are well-labeled and organized. 

With each dissection, keep and plant the seeds. Make a “scientific” pic collage or equivalent. (See below for the extra “artistic” pic collage or equivalent.

Dissect and document the anatomy of the peppers (bell and chili). 






Dissect and document the anatomy of the aubergine (eggplant; brinjal)

See the fruit from the datura species, if available.

Compare your observations of the different fruits. Why do you think scientists would group all the plants (whose fruits you have examined) in the same plant family? Nightshade <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solanaceae>


Examine some of the sprouted seeds:

(Bean family <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fabaceae>; Grass family <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poaceae>)

Examine some of the other fruits which do not belong to the Nightshade family. Indian Gooseberry (Amla; Phyllanthus emblica); Tamarind (Imli; Tamarindus indica); A small orange citrus–Kumquat? (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumquat); the syconium of the edible fig (Anjeer; Ficus carica) (What is a syconium < https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syconium >?)

Take another look at A Confusion of Names from Botany: A Booming History: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVDpdmlpZKw


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