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Evolution curiousity concerning plants

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posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 09:28 PM
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I was standing on my front porch the other day and noticed some maple leaf seeds on the stairs. They are the ones that spin as they fall like little helicopters.



I have read a good deal on the evolution of animals but I lack basically any research on the progression of plants. I am interested if anyone has done any research into this and could provide thoughts/links as to how plants or why plants evolve like they have.

Personally I find evolution to be a well founded theory when it comes to animals and my reasoning for it is that animals are aware of the surroundings. Plants react to the environment but lack a mind, or consciousness which is one thing I have always thought would be necessary for the drive to make changes. So, either the mind is not necessary or awareness is not what I perceive it to be. So what would drive a plant to make a wing to its seed? How does it know this is the best way to distribute itself?

I realize this isn't so much a conspiracy as it is a search for answers and information but I have faith
that I will hear god did it and this will devolve into a back and forth of religion/evolution. I hope to at least get some good feedback from others before or if that happens. So the basic question is how is it explained (evolution) outside of the animal kingdom. Lastly to clarify, I do not think god did it and I do not need to be saved thanks.




posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 09:41 PM
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reply to post by drivers1492
 


as the thing that spins has a seed in it i imagine that it would be so it could spread its spawns as far from the original tree as possible. it also lets it drop the seed from high up and not smash into the ground and possibly break.

all changes in evolution happen in a tiny genetic and chemical way..its genetics that allow you to have a 'mind'.

edit on 14-10-2011 by ShortMemory because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 09:50 PM
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reply to post by ShortMemory
 

Yes I understand how the seed seems to benefit dispersion. My questioning is why or how would these changes take place to make said seed. It may actually come down to the driving force of evolution and how exactly these changes are spawned or the reasoning behind them. That would be what I am looking to understand.



posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 09:56 PM
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Originally posted by drivers1492
reply to post by ShortMemory
 

Yes I understand how the seed seems to benefit dispersion. My questioning is why or how would these changes take place to make said seed. It may actually come down to the driving force of evolution and how exactly these changes are spawned or the reasoning behind them. That would be what I am looking to understand.

hmm im no expert so don’t hold it to me but ill try and explain it how i see it.
Like I said all changes happen on a genetic level, genetics is what gave us minds, so it sort of comes before thought and happens naturally if that makes sense.
As for how this example developed it could be just random mutation which doesn’t need reason it’s purely a game of chance.
The only way I can think the plant would know that it needed to mutate in such a way is that it knew not many seeds were germinating because it could sense missing pheromones that would have developed if the seed took.



posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 09:57 PM
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Here's a nice site explaining the evolution of corn, leading up to corn as we now know it.
You might say that corn is one of the first GM foods.


Evolution of Corn



posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 10:00 PM
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Hiking a few months back, I marveled at the ability of poison oak to mimic leaf patters and all over structure of it's surrounding plants in order to camouflage itself. How in the heck does it know what the other plant next to it looks like? This has made me wonder as well about the "consciousness" of plants and how they "know".



posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 10:00 PM
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reply to post by drivers1492
 


I found some stuff on the earliest land plants and the environmental factors that contributed to making the jump from sea to land:


or 1500 million years photosynthetic organisms remained in the sea. This is because, in the absence of a protective ozone layer, the land was bathed in lethal levels of UV radiation. Once atmospheric oxygen levels were high enough the ozone layer formed, meaning that it was possible for living things to venture onto the land.


And the sort of conditions on land that continued to shape the plant life of future generations:


The seashore would have been enormously important in the colonisation of land. In this zone algae would have been exposed to fresh water running off the land (and would have colonised the freshwater habitat before making the move to terrestrial existence). They would also be exposed to an alternating wet and desiccating environment. Adaptations to survive drying out would have had strong survival value, and it is important to note that seaweeds are poikilohydric and able to withstand periods of desiccation.


And some of it might have been by mistake, like in this scenario involving some fossilized spores found:


The earliest evidence for the appearance of land plants, in the form of fossilised spores, comes from the Ordovician period (510 - 439 million years ago), a time when the global climate was mild and extensive shallow seas surrounded the low-lying continental masses. (These spores were probably produced by submerged plants that raised their sporangia above the water - wind dispersal would offer a means of colonising other bodies of water.) However, DNA-derived dates suggest an even earlier colonisation of the land, around 700 million years ago.


sci.waikato.ac.nz...



posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 10:00 PM
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reply to post by drivers1492
 

God gave it a wing.
No further explanation needed.



posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 10:12 PM
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Originally posted by GmoS719
reply to post by drivers1492
 

God gave it a wing.
No further explanation needed.

no further explanation needed, unless you think for yourself



posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 10:16 PM
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The plants don't really need brains like animals do, considering that via evolution, different mutations have cropped up over the centuries...I don't think the plants KNOW what the best methods of seed dispersal are, but rather the ones that thrive in their environments are the ones that stay alive.

Via competition with other plants for real estate and pollination, I would think that plants die out just like animals do, overtaken by the more favorable mutations. Have you seen the flowers that mimic bees? They trick bees into thinking they will be mating with another bee, while instead they unknowingly deposit the pollen they are carrying on their bodies.

So basically, I would think that the seeds that have gained the ability to be spread the farthest will have more potential for domination among the same species. With plants, as with some animals, there are dozens of varieties of the same genus.

Note that I know a bit about the evolution of animals, but plants I really have no clue about. I was actually wondering this myself the other day, and I thought there was a conflict since plants don't really "know" anything, but then I figured out what I said above, and it made sense to me so I am going with that.



posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 10:18 PM
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reply to post by ShortMemory
 

I do think for myself, No one forced me to believe this.
Quit harassing me.



posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 10:18 PM
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With the exception of "god gave it a wing" there were interesting replies.

reply to post by ShortMemory
 

I understand what your saying and thats not really something I had considered really. Like I said I had always factored in a mind as part of the driving force which is/was wrong but it never hit me I suppose.

So subtracting that from the equation the driving force would be either simple chance or something that is not known as of yet. The sheer overwhelming diversity of plant and animal life throughout the history of earth makes me lean toward something were not understanding yet. Although I could be very wrong.

reply to post by topherman420
 

I will read that link thanks



posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 10:21 PM
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reply to post by JiggyPotamus
 


"Have you seen the flowers that mimic bees? They trick bees into thinking they will be mating with another bee, while instead they unknowingly deposit the pollen they are carrying on their bodies. "

Take that for example. A flower by chance has a mutation that makes them look like a bee. Thats the kind of thing that makes me think that it may be more driven than we realize.



posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 10:25 PM
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reply to post by drivers1492
 


Hi There, that is definately an Acer seed. Looks like Acer Saccarum from the photo, but it could be a
Norway,Rock,Red,or Swamp Maple. Post of picture of a leaf or 3 , and I will identify for you.
The maples are very shady trees, these seeds have a modification of the seed coat that allows them to
wander further away from the dispersion source (parent tree).

This increases the odds of landing in a microclimate that is more ideal for germination, as the area directly
beneath the parent tree is not ideal for germination due to existing shade conditions ,competitive root growth,
and free access to nutrients. Furthermore, the "wing" modification that you so duly noticed, acts as both an
anchor and wick for moisture once the seed has logged itself into a nook and is rained upon.

So basically it is adaptation at its finest. The inherent will to survive. In this case, each succesful germinating
seed that reaches maturity will cast forward its DNA into a hostile enviroment. Incrementally adding its own
little bit of "Know How" to future generations. The statement holds true , "The Glory of Creation is in Infinite
Diversity."

Glad to see you have taken an interest into the fascinating diversity of plants.
S&F
edit on 14-10-2011 by Wildmanimal because: add in content for clarification on topic

edit on 14-10-2011 by Wildmanimal because: Typo



posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 10:28 PM
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Originally posted by GmoS719
reply to post by ShortMemory
 

I do think for myself, No one forced me to believe this.
Quit harassing me.

god made me harass you



posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 10:33 PM
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reply to post by Wildmanimal
 

The pic was just one I pulled to show the type of seed I was referring too. I am more interested currently more interested in the reasoning and forces behind the creation of those seeds. But thanks for the offer of identification. With the maples around here I am assuming that is what it is.



posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 10:34 PM
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reply to post by drivers1492
 


The shape of the maple seed is natural selection and adaptation that does not require any thinking on the seeds part.
One can hypothisize that various selective forces have shaped the seed. for example, seeds that are too heavy or have short wings may not travel far enough to escape the detrimental influences of the parent tree. Alternatively, seeds that have long wings travel away to areas that provide good habitat for growth there by providing the next generation of long wing seed.



posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 10:36 PM
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I understand what your saying and thats not really something I had considered really. Like I said I had always factored in a mind as part of the driving force which is/was wrong but it never hit me I suppose. So subtracting that from the equation the driving force would be either simple chance or something that is not known as of yet. The sheer overwhelming diversity of plant and animal life throughout the history of earth makes me lean toward something were not understanding yet. Although I could be very wrong.
reply to post by drivers1492
 

well i think in a lot of cases yes, of course some animals would probably be able to influence mutation with thought.
chance mostly. if you look at how our mind works, chemicals give us consciousness and give us the senses that form thought of our surrounding environment. so i would say although they are not conscious, they are still reading senses and adapting to their environment.
your more then likely right, evolution is not a clean cut thing and its always going to be improved with the more stuff we learn. chances are we dont understand even 1% of the world yet.



posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 10:36 PM
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Oh boy, this is going to be fun
Please be advised that not only did i sign up for membership after lurking ATS for over a year JUST to answer this question (mostly because this is something i know the answer to
), but the following is my basic understanding of your question. Feel free to pick it apart.

Plants (and animals, and all other living things) have purposely lenient methods of reproduction to allow for diversity among their offspring. So a given tree can produce a variety of different looking and behaving seeds. In this case, that diversity is whether the seeds are more or less "helicopter-like."

Once those seeds are put into action, they will do their job wherever they land, regardless of how close or far it is from the parent tree. Those of us who know anything about gardening or landscaping, etc., are aware that it is a bad idea to plant saplings near a large tree (doing so will result in the sapling dying because the large tree sucks up all the water and nutrients before the sapling gets a chance). Therefore, only the seeds that make it farthest from the parent will survive. So the more "helicopter-like" the seed, the farther away the offspring, the better a chance the sapling has for survival. Surviving trees will create seeds more like the ones that created them, hence making more "helicopter-like" seeds.

This is basically natural selection in plant life. Unsuccessful seeds don't grow up to produce more unsuccessful seeds, and over time things diversify from one another based on the plant species' individual needs. The idea of "thought" isn't involved so much as what survives gets to reproduce; same as everything else on the planet.

Hope i helped



posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 10:45 PM
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reply to post by drivers1492
 


Understood, I added some content to my original reply that you may like to review.

Fun.




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