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Monday, October 13, 2014

World's Tallest Tree - Coast Redwood


The coast redwood, the world's tallest tree, is one of the three sequoia tree species, together with the giant sequoia(Sequoiadendron giganteum) and the dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides). The coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) grows in natural stands in a long, thin coastal area along the Pacific Ocean in the west and northwest of the US (mostly California). It is the tallest tree in the world.

With its relatively slender silhouette this tree can grow even 20 meters higher than the tallest giant sequoias, that are nevertheless the biggest trees in the world, when looking at the volume of the trunk. The tallest known living tree, named Hyperion, is 115.55 m or 379.1 feet (measured in 2006) tall! This gets close to 120 to 130 m, that, according to a 2004 biological study, is the maximum attainable height [1] of a tree.
Foggy coastal forests of the Pacific


During the whole year it rains quite a lot in this thin coastal strip and it is quite foggy most of the time. This way the tree can absorb enough water and does not suffer that much from evaporation stress. Most of the tallest trees can be found in the wet river valleys on fertile, alluvial deposits, although unexpectedly a couple of recently discovered record breaking trees appeared to grow on the valley slopes. The coast redwood forests have an abundant undergrowth (amongst which there are a lot of ferns). However, the biggest biodiversity can be found tens of meters up: differents species of plants, lichens, salamanders, ... live high up in the sky between the complex branch systems of the redwoods. Prof. Steve Sillett, who studies these redwood canopies, compares them with "hanging gardens".





The get an impression of the size of these redwoods: the images above show some of these trees. On the left is the "Del Norte Titan" in the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, California (© Bob Van Pelt). Notice the people in the left bottom corner. The tree on the right is called "Screaming Titans", also in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.
The Del Norte Titan has a height of 93.6 m and a girth at breast height of 22.7 m. He is definitely not the tallest coast redwood, or the thickest, but has the second largest trunk volume ("The Lost Monarch" comes in first, depending on your definition of a "single tree"). Nevertheless he is surpassed in volume by the giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron), of which about fifteen specimens have a bigger volume with"General Sherman" on top of the list.

Description
On first sight, the needles of the coast redwood do not resemble those of the giant sequoia: they are bigger and flat, much like that of a yew. The crown is conical just like the one of the giant redwood, with an almost equally massive trunk with a reddish brown, soft bark. The egg shaped cones are smaller (2 to 3 cm). In contrast to most other conifers, the coast redwood starts to grow again after being cut. The maximum age is probably around 2500 years.





















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Tuna Fish, a tasty fish



The bluefin tuna is a species in decline. While the Pacific variety isn’t as endangered as the West Atlantic bluefin, it’s quite telling that half of the 600 devices that researchers from Tag-A-Giant attached to Pacific bluefins were returned to the New York-based operation by fishermen seeking the $500 reward for each device. Combine the pressure from fishing with the weather experienced in the region this year and you have a species that may not be around to see 2010.
It certainly doesn’t help that it’s such a tasty fish.

In early 2009, a 282-pound bluefin caught off the northern coast of Oma was sold to a pair of rival restaurateurs who set aside their differences to procure the massive fish for $100,000. In 2001,
a 440-pound tuna was sold for the phenomenal
price of $220,000.

In 2010, however, the 440-pound tuna’s record was beaten by the sale of a gargantuan 513-pound bluefin. Sold at Tokyo’s Tsukiji market, the most expensive tuna in the world was also purchased by a confederacy of restaurateurs—this time the owners of two sushi restaurants in Japan and the owner of one in Hong Kong.

Part of the reason for these phenomenal prices, of course, is the bluefin’s rarity. While forty-one bluefin tuna were sold at a 2008 auction, only three were sold at the same auction in 2009. The economic crisis, however, may have been a boon for the bluefin population as consumers found the fish too rich for their wallets. In adition, The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas reduced the quota for the 2010 catch to 13,500 tons—around two-thirds of the former quota.

Still, offering a reward for the prize in the fish’s belly might not have been such a good idea after all.







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World's most expensive fish - Tuna - preparing for Tuna Curry



The Tsukiji Fish Market is the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world. It’s also one of the largest wholesale food markets of any kind. The market is located in Tsukiji in central Tokyo, and is a major attraction for foreign visitors.




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