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Dendritic Patterns

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Devin Stein
/
Flickr.com https://tinyurl.com/muzzbbh

Persistent patterns of nature permeate our bodies and our environment, and for the most part go unrecognized by all but the very observant. One ubiquitous design is the dendritic pattern.

Dendritic refers to a shape that resembles a branch tree. It is a pattern that is associated with growth or movement. Consider how the main trunk of a oak forks into large limbs that form again and again into smaller branches and twigs.

The pattern continues in the veins of leaves and the vast complex of unseen roots. Our bodies and those of all animals are living assemblages of dendritic patterns. Ever-branching arteries, veins, and capillaries transfer living blood through a circulatory system arrayed in dendritic form.

Likewise, air passages in the lungs replicate the pattern, and the term “dendrite” describes a branched projections of neurons that comprise the nervous system.

 

Kelby was a biologist and manager of National Wildlife Refuges for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for more than 30 years. He has worked with alligators in gulf coast marshes and Canada geese on Hudson Bay tundra. His most recent project was working with his brother Keith of the Louisiana Nature Conservancy on the largest floodplain restoration project in the Mississippi River Basin at the Mollicy Unit of the Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge, reconnecting twenty-five square miles of former floodplain forest back to the Ouachita River.
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