|Copyright: Ramkumar Chandrasekharan (rkc)
|Date Taken: 2009-04-23|
|Exposure: f/2.8, 1/80 seconds|
|More Photo Info: [view]|
|Photo Version: Original Version|
|Date Submitted: 2009-04-23 1:42|
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Caught these two red-black bugs in action below a giant Floss-silk tree (Chorisia speciosa). The ground is covered with floss-silk coming out from the opened capsule like fruit. Floss-silk resembles cotton but, unlike cotton, is attached just below the seeds, which are hidden by the silk. When released, these silky hairs help to disperse the seeds in strong winds.|
Chorisia speciosa is a member of the Bombacaceae, or cotton-tree family, which includes 30 genera and approximately 180 species, mostly large trees that grow in seasonal dry forests and grassy woodlands of the tropics and subtropics, especially in the Americas. Most photographed among the Bombacaceae, however, is the famous baobab or dead rat tree, Adansonia digitata, an elephantine tree of African savanna woodland with a massively enlarged, bottle-shaped, gray trunk and short, dumpy branches sticking into the air like thick roots.
Among Bombacaceae, the most famous economically important fruit hair has been harvested from Ceiba pentandra, the kapok or silk-cotton tree. Unlike cotton, kapok cannot be woven into cloth, but formerly it was widely used for stuffing pillows, bases and balls for baseball and softball, mattresses, and, especially, life jackets. In fact, during World War II, a U.S. sailor would commonly refer to his life jacket as a "kapok." Since the war, however, synthetic fibers have replaced kapok for these traditional uses.
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