Wednesday, February 14, 2024

SearchResearch Challenge (2/14/24): Are tree rings nested cones or cylinders?

 While walking through a forest... 

P/C Sevenstorm (from

... of very tall trees, I was wondering how old the trees were.  Luckily, just around the next bend in the trail there was the stump of a tree.  I counted the rings and found that it was around 25 years old.  But then I saw another cross section of the tree, but much narrower and taken from much higher up on the trunk, a bit like this: 

THAT started me thinking about markers of growth.  As you know, each ring is 1 annual growth cycle.  The dark bands are usually made of smaller cells that grow close together when times are tough, while the light bands are larger cells, created when living conditions are much better. 

But is the number of rings the same at the bottom of the tree as at the top?  That is... 

1. Are the rings in a tree trunk arranged as a cone or as a collection of cylinders?  In other words, if you count the rings at the top of the tree, would you see the same number of rings as at the bottom?  (If they're stacked cones, you'd expect the number to be different--if they're cylinders, you'd expect them to be the same.)  How ARE the tree rings organized inside of the tree trunk? 

2. If tree rings are the fingerprints of a tree, I know that cloned trees can have very different ring patterns, but what about humans?  Do identical twin humans have identical fingerprints, or not?  

Can you work your SRS magic on these Challenges and let us know?  

As always, tell us what you found, and how you found it.  (And yes, you can use LLMs or anything that floats your boat, including asking your fingerprint specialist detective uncle.)  Just be sure to include the details of what you did, including any tools or resources... be they AI or human.  

Keep Searching!  


  1. Hi Dr. Russell & Everyone. Happy Valentine's Day

    As always, very interesting.

    Just thinking and still to SRS, my idea is that tree rings are in cones. I think it's not the upper part than the one in the soil.

    About fingerprints, again, just what I believe before searching is that no, everyone has different ones.

    I am with the correct answers? I'll look for them.

    Also, and out of topic. I am wondering how mom hummingbird can stay so much time in the nest until eggs hatch. I mean, hummingbirds needs a lot of "fuel" but when in the nest, they are there for hours without moving. It's impressive and a mystery.

    I haven't found an answer yet

    1. Out of topic, kind of:

      Duke University decided to dump their herbarium, which has over 800,000 plant specimens, one of the largest among in America.

      Hopefully someone saves it

    2. I was searching for tree rings when found this NASA link.

      Tree rings provide snapshots of Earth's past climate.

      They also share the link

      Arizona Laboratory Tree ring

    3. With [whole tree has the same number of rings]

      Some results mention rings on trees shape are stacked cones

    4. About Q2

      With [ identical twins fingerprints]

      Why don’t identical twins have the same fingerprints? New study provides clues

    5. Out of topic but interesting

      Fishes introduction. Year 1838

    6. Hi everyone. Once again with a question. This morning I took a video of a bird singing. Can AI tell me which kind of bird is it?


    7. "Fishes introduction. Year 1838" (the link wouldn't display in my elderly browser, meh - searched…)

    8. the long of it…

    9. waybackmachine - aquarium - all fishy, can be considered an invasive carnivore
      no net

    10. Hi Remmij. Thanks!

      You mentioned the link doesn't work in your browser. Here is the primary source:

    11. Ramon, gracias…


  2. listening to the rings… cone of sound
    audio dendrology
    (what would one hear if played backwards? - backmasking
    an easier way to count?

  3. pine dunes - also time involved

  4. a ring lab
    some detail -

  5. a little different spin… a ring ON a tree…
    with a little help from a Sciurus niger & some $$$
    forest nuptials…
    the ring:

  6. ring IN/ON a tree… A_I:Arbor_Intelligence (tried earlier, but comment evaporated…)
    where's bWinkle?
    did you see?

    1. I did see the Swiss redwoods, actually. I was on a tram riding through downtown Zürich when I spotted 3 of them side-by-side. Nearly broke my neck doing a fast doubletake because they were SO out of place. I would not have been more surprised if they had been saguaro catci growing there next to the Swiss banks.

    2. cool that you saw some - your attention & curiosity is always on…
      also nearby
      some background
      Michigan too -
      more portable -
      Zurich -
      in Geneva

  7. phrase rings… Maybe Gemini is THE straw?
    кто кого?,_whom%3F
    Cui bono
    What Is to Be Done?
    I waited for a while, between a rock and a hard place.

    1. Gemini's most recent image for "founding dude"…