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Texas Pineywoods

Pine Tree Patterns

The needles of the loblolly pines found in the Pineywoods always grow in bunches of threes. Other types of pines have needles that grow in bunches of two, five, or more. This growth pattern demonstrates a numerical sequence found in nature. An Italian mathematician named Leonardo Fibonacci observed this sequence of nature in the near the year 1200!

Can you discover the pattern in the sequence and complete the following the following number patterns?

What You Need:


Fill in the missing numbers from the following sequences. (Hint: The pattern is the same for all lines of numbers.)

1). 2, 3, 5, __, 13, 21, __ .

2). 55, 89, 144, ___, 377, 610, __ .

3). 1, 1, 2, 3, __, 8, 13, 21, __, 55.

Unlock the Code!

Did you notice that if you add the first two numbers, you get the third number in the sequence? Add that number to the number before it, and you get the next number! The Fibonacci Numerical sequence follows: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, . . .

Fibonacci observed that most things in nature with numbers of things (eyes, petals, leaves, seed heads, etc.) have a number that starts somewhere in the list of numbers and follows that sequence. For example, a flower may have a ring of 3 petals on top, and a ring of 5 petals behind it. Sunflower seed heads may have a ring of 55 seeds going one direction, then the next row is 89 seeds going the other direction. What do you think? Test this theory -- get outside and start counting!

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