Gymnastische Flexibilität (German Edition)

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See Jains. The Gymnosperms, with the Angiosperms, constitute the existing groups of seed-bearing plants or Phanerogams: the importance of the seed as a distinguishing feature in the plant kingdom may be emphasized by the use of the designation Spermophyta for these two groups, in contrast to the Pteridophyta and Bryophyta in which true seeds are unknown.

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Recent discoveries have, however, established the fact that there existed in the Palaeozoic era fern-like plants which produced true seeds of a highly specialized type; this group, for which Oliver and Scott proposed the term Pteridospermae in , must also be included in the Spermophyta. Another instance of the production of seeds in an extinct plant which further reduces the importance of this character as a distinguishing feature is afforded by the Palaeozoic genus Lepidocarpon described by Scott in ; this lycopodiaceous type possessed an integumented megaspore, to which the designation seed may be legitimately applied see Palaeobotany : Palaeozoic.

As the name Gymnosperm Gr. It was the English botanist Robert Brown who first recognized this important distinguishing feature in conifers and cycads in ; he established the gymnospermy of these seed-bearing classes as distinct from the angiospermy of the monocotyledons and dicotyledons. These naked-seeded plants are of special interest on account of their great antiquity, which far exceeds that of the Angiosperms, and as comprising different types which carry us back to the Palaeozoic era and to the forests of the coal period. The division known as the Cycadophyta is represented by a few living genera of limited geographical range and by a large number of extinct types which in the Mesozoic era see Palaeobotany : Mesozoic played a conspicuous part in the vegetation of the world.

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  6. It is needless to discuss at length the origin of the Gymnosperms. The two views which find most favour in regard to the Coniferales and Cycadophyta are: 1 that both have been derived from remote filicinean ancestors; 2 that the cycads are the descendants of a fern-like stock, while conifers have been evolved from lycopodiaceous ancestors.

    The line of descent of recent cycads is comparatively clear in so far as they have undoubted affinity with Palaeozoic plants which combined cycadean and filicinean features; but opinion is much more divided as to the nature of the phylum from which the conifers are derived. The Cordaitales see Palaeobotany : Palaeozoic are represented by extinct forms only, which occupied a prominent position in the Palaeozoic period; these plants exhibit certain features in common with the living Araucarias, and others which invite a comparison with the maidenhair tree Ginkgo biloba , the solitary survivor of another class of Gymnosperms, the Ginkgoales see Palaeobotany : Mesozoic.

    The Gnetales are a class apart, including three living genera, of which we know next to nothing as regards their past history or line of descent. Although there are several morphological features in the three genera of Gnetales which might seem to bring them into line with the Angiosperms, it is usual to regard these resemblances as parallel developments along distinct lines rather than to interpret them as evidence of direct relationship.

    Flowers unisexual, except in a few cases Gnetales without a perianth. Monoecious or dioecious. Ovules naked, rarely without carpellary leaves, usually borne on carpophylls, which assume various forms. The single megaspore enclosed in the nucellus is filled with tissue prothallus before fertilization, and contains two or more archegonia, consisting usually of a large egg-cell and a small neck, rarely of an egg-cell only and no neck Gnetum and Welwitschia.

    Microspore spherical or oval, with or without a bladder-like extension of the exine, containing a prothallus of two or more cells, one of which produces two non-motile or motile male cells. Cotyledons two or several. Secondary xylem and phloem produced by a single cambium, or by successive cambial zones; no true vessels except in the Gnetales in the wood, and no companion-cells in the phloem. There is no doubt that the result of recent research and of work now in progress will be to modify considerably the grouping of the conifers. The family Araucarieae , represented by Araucaria and Agathis , should perhaps be separated as a special class and a rearrangement of other genera more in accord with a natural system of classification will soon be possible; but for the present its twofold subdivision may be retained.

    Dioecious; flowers in the form of cones, except the female flowers of Cycas , which consist of a rosette of leaf-like carpels at the apex of the stem.


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    Seeds albuminous, with one integument; the single embryo, usually bearing two partially fused cotyledons, is attached to a long tangled suspensor. Stems and roots increase in diameter by secondary thickening, the secondary wood being produced by one cambium or developed from successive cambium-rings. The cycads constitute a homogeneous group of a few living members confined to tropical and sub-tropical regions.

    As a fairly typical and well-known example of the Cycadaceae, a species of the genus Cycas e. The stout columnar stem may reach a height of 20 metres, and a diameter of half a metre; it remains either unbranched or divides near the summit into several short and thick branches, each branch terminating in a crown of long pinnate leaves.

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    The surface of the stem is covered with rhomboidal areas, which represent the persistent bases of foliage- and scale-leaves. In some species of Cycas there is a well-defined alternation of transverse zones on the stem, consisting of larger areas representing foliage-leaf bases, and similar but smaller areas formed by the bases of scale-leaves F and S , fig.

    The scale-leaves clothing the terminal bud are linear-lanceolate in form, and of a brown or yellow colour; they are pushed aside as the stem-axis elongates and becomes shrivelled, finally falling off, leaving projecting bases which are eventually cut off at a still lower level. Similarly, the dead fronds fall off, leaving a ragged petiole, which is afterwards separated from the stem by an absciss-layer a short distance above the base. In some species of Cycas the leaf-bases do not persist as a permanent covering to the stem, but the surface is covered with a wrinkled bark, as in Cycas siamensis , which has a stem of unusual form fig.

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    Small tuberous shoots, comparable on a large scale with the bulbils of Lycopodium Selago , are occasionally produced in the axils of some of the persistent leaf-bases; these are characteristic of sickly plants, and serve as a means of vegetative reproduction. In the genus Cycas the female flower is peculiar among cycads in consisting of a terminal crown of separate leaf-like carpels several inches in length; the apical portion of each carpellary leaf may be broadly triangular in form, and deeply dissected on the margins into narrow woolly appendages like rudimentary pinnae.

    In Cycas the stem apex, after producing a cluster of carpellary leaves, continues to elongate and produces more bud-scales, which are afterwards pushed aside as a fresh crown of fronds is developed. The young leaves of Cycas consist of a straight rachis bearing numerous linear pinnae, traversed by a single midrib; the pinnae are circinately coiled like the leaf of a fern fig. The male flower of Cycas conforms to the type of structure characteristic of the cycads, and consists of a long cone of numerous sporophylls bearing many oval pollen-sacs on their lower faces.

    The type described serves as a convenient representative of its class. There are eight other living genera, which may be classified as follows:—. Represented by a single genus, Cycas. A single genus, Stangeria , confined to South Africa, b Euzamieae. Bowenia , an Australian cycad, is peculiar in having bi-pinnate fronds fig. The various genera are distinguished from one another by the shape and manner of attachment of the pinnae, the form of the carpellary scales, and to some extent by anatomical characters. Encephalartos South and Tropical Africa.

    Macrozamia Australia. Each carpel terminates in a peltate head. Ceratozamia Mexico. Microcycas Cuba. Dioon Mexico fig. Bowenia Australia. The stems of cycads are often described as unbranched; it is true that in comparison with conifers, in which the numerous branches, springing from the main stem, give a characteristic form to the tree, the tuberous or columnar stem of the Cycadaceae Stem and leaf.

    Branching, however, occurs not infrequently: in Cycas the tall stem often produces several candelabra-like arms; in Zamia the main axis may break up near the base into several cylindrical branches; in species of Dioon fig. The South African Encephalartos frequently produces several branches. Probably the oldest example of this genus in cultivation is in the Botanic Garden of Amsterdam, its age is considered by Professor de Vries to be about two thousand years: although an accurate determination of age is impossible, there is no doubt that many cycads grow very slowly and are remarkable for longevity.

    Another type of stem is illustrated by Stangeria and Zamia , also by a few forms of Cycas fig. The Cyas type of frond, except as regards the presence of a midrib in each pinna, characterizes the cycads generally, except Bowenia and Stangeria. In the monotypic genus Bowenia the large fronds, borne singly on the short and thick stem, are bi-pinnate fig. In Stangeria , also a genus represented by one species S.

    federn - English translation in English - Langenscheidt dictionary German-English

    In rare cases the pinnae of cycads are lobed or branched: in Dioon spinulosum Central America the margin of the segments bears numerous spinous processes; in some species of Encephalartos , e. An interesting species of Cycas , C. In Ceratozamia the broad petiole-base is characterized by the presence of two lateral spinous processes, suggesting stipular appendages, comparable, on a reduced scale, with the large stipules of the Marattiaceae among Ferns. The vernation varies in different genera; in Cycas the rachis is straight and the pinnae circinately coiled fig.

    The young leaves arise on the stem-apex as conical protuberances with winged borders on which the pinnae appear as rounded humps, usually in basipetal order; the scale-leaves in their young condition resemble fronds, but the lamina remains undeveloped. A feature of interest in connexion with the phylogeny of cycads is the presence of long hairs clothing the scale-leaves, and forming a cap on the summit of the stem-apex or attached to the bases of petioles; on some fossil cycadean plants these outgrowths have the form of scales, and are identical in structure with the ramenta paleae of the majority of ferns.

    The male flowers of cycads are constructed on a uniform plan, and in all cases consist of an axis bearing crowded, spirally disposed sporophylls. These are often wedge-shaped and angular; in some cases they consist of a short, thick Flower. The sporangial wall, consisting of several layers of cells, encloses a cavity containing numerous oval spores pollen-grains.

    In structure a cycadean sporangium recalls those of certain ferns Marattiaceae, Osmundaceae and Schizaeaceae , but in the development of the spores there are certain peculiarities not met with among the Vascular Cryptogams.

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    With the exception of Cycas , the female flowers are also in the form of cones, bearing numerous carpellary scales. In Cycas revoluta and C. Normanbyana the carpel is shorter and the ovules are reduced to two; this latter type brings us nearer to the carpels of Dioon , in which the flower has the form of a cone, and the distal end of the carpels is longer and more leaf-like than in the other genera of the Zamieae , which are characterized by shorter carpels with thick peltate heads bearing two ovules on the morphologically lower surface.

    The cones of cycads attain in some cases e. Encephalartos a considerable size, reaching a length of more than a foot. Cases have been recorded by Thiselton-Dyer in Encephalartos and by Wieland in Zamia in which the short carpellary cone-scales exhibit a foliaceous form. It is interesting that no monstrous cycadean cone has been described in which ovuliferous and staminate appendages are borne on the same axis: in the Bennettitales see Palaeobotany : Mesozoic flowers were produced bearing on the same axis both androecium and gynoecium.

    The pollen-grains when mature consist of three cells, two small and one large cell; the latter grows into the pollen-tube, as in the Coniferales, and from one of the small cells two large ciliated spermatozoids are eventually produced. A Microspores and megaspores. One of the most important discoveries made during the latter part of the 19th century was that by Ikeno, a Japanese botanist, who first demonstrated the existence of motile male cells in the genus Cycas.

    Similar spermatozoids were observed in some species of Zamia by H. Webber, and more recent work enables us to assume that all cycads produce ciliated male gametes. Before following the growth of the pollen-grain after pollination, we will briefly describe the structure of a cycadean ovule. An ovule consists of a conical nucellus surrounded by a single integument.

    At an early stage of development a large cell makes its appearance in the central region of the nucellus; this increases in size and eventually forms three cells; the lowest of these grows vigorously and constitutes the megaspore embryo-sac , which ultimately absorbs the greater part of the nucellus. The megaspore-nucleus divides repeatedly, and cells are produced from the peripheral region inwards, which eventually fill the spore-cavity with a homogeneous tissue prothallus ; some of the superficial cells at the micropylar end of the megaspore increase in size and divide by a tangential wall into two, an upper cell which gives rise to the short two-celled neck of the archegonium, and a lower cell which develops into a large egg-cell.

    Each megaspore may contain 2 to 6 archegonia. During the growth of the ovum nourishment is supplied from the contents of the cells immediately surrounding the egg-cell, as in the development of the ovum of Pinus and other conifers. Meanwhile the tissue in the apical region of the nucellus has been undergoing disorganization, which results in the formation of a pollen-chamber fig. Pollination in cycads has always been described as anemophilous, but according to recent observations by Pearson on South African species it seems probable that, at least in some cases, the pollen is conveyed to the ovules by animal agency.

    The pollen-grains find their way between the carpophylls, which at the time of pollination are slightly apart owing to the elongation of the internodes of the flower-axis, and pass into the pollen-chamber; the large cell of the pollen-grain grows out into a tube Pt , which penetrates the nucellar tissue and often branches repeatedly; the pollen-grain itself, with the prothallus-cells, projects freely into the pollen-chamber fig. The nucleus of the outermost second small cell fig.

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    The outermost cell, by the division of the remaining nucleus, produces two large spermatozoids fig. In Microcycas 16 sperm-cells are produced.