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Quis custodiet the custard?
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Lately there have been many articles on plant responses to external stimuli such as specific insects, or mimicry of beneficial insects, which raises many questions such as how exactly does an organism without eyes visually mimic anything else?
The answer would seem to be in the negative spaces, in
other words, in the absence of light or at least certain partially obscured wavelengths of light which would allow the cells of a photosynthetic being to interact with external objects.
Today, (and this may be entirely coincidental), I noticed that all of the farthest newest smaller flower-clusters on the south-facing sides of all of a restaurant's outdoor patio planters were casting shadows that mimicked the shape of flittering bees upon the side of the planters they were housed in.
None of the larger varieties of flowers cast an insect-like shadow but the end-growths of all of the smaller varieties like Alyssum and Lobelia had arranged themselves to cast randomly moving bee-like shadows, and the actual bees that I saw around them tended to close in and mimic the waggle of this shadowy-bee before checking out the rest of the bouquet.
Might be something, or it might not be anything at all... I can't even think up any idea to go with it other than as an hypothesis to an experiment.
Check it out. See if you notice the same effect with tiny south-facing flowers in your area.
Do plants think?
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Aug 05 2015]
Mimicry in plants.
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Aug 05 2015]
||Thanks for fixing the spelling. My stamens were twitching.
||In the future, scientists will come to the realisation
that plant mimicry is achieved acoustically. Then
theyll realise that Ive been saying this all along
(i.e., a few years ago).
||//how exactly does an organism without eyes
visually mimic anything else?
The answer would seem to be in the negative
||This is about as wrong as it's possible to be in the
context of evolution. The plant does not look at
the insect, decide to mimic it, and then evolve
||Instead, if a chance mutation happens to make the
orchid look a bit more like a bee (for instance),
that plant is likelier to be pollinated, and so
likelier to leave descendants. Repeat for X million
years and you have a flower that looks a lot like a
||There **are** a few plants which mimic the leaf-
shapes and colours of those around them, and
which do so responsively (ie, a particular plant will
change in response to those around it), but this
can also be explained without assuming that the
plant can see or has intentions.
||Conversively, it can also be explained that organisms
that can see and have intentions evolved that way
out of chance mutations, which gave a statistically
higher payoff, and when iterated forward X million
years, gave rise to a bunch of organisms that think
||I think that if you think you're clever (or even think
you think you're clever) then, more or less by
definition, you somewhat are.
||I do think I think I'm clever, but I'm not sure that means I'm clever; it does however mean that my cleverness has quite a bit of overhead attached, which can count as clever in some circles.
||Actually, no. If you think youre clever, all it means is
that you remember the sensation of thinking that
youre clever a few milliseconds ago. You dont even
need to have thought you were clever, merely
remember what it was like to think that, or the
impression of just having thought something along
those lines. You wont even accurately remember
it was you thought, so you didnt even need to think
it at all. The details of what it actually was you think
you thought may as well be fictional. All you needed
to do was have the sensation
that resulted from thinking something like that, and
then remembering that sensation. It is impossible to
tell whether you did or not, and if you did, what you
did. Hence, you probably actually didnt, but
imagined you did.
||All of life is actually like that. When you die, the
moment you die, all you have is the immediate
memory of what it was like to live a life. You didnt
actually need to live a life, just remember what it
was like, and consequently, you probably didnt
actually live it at all, if there was no need.
||//This is about as wrong as it's possible to be in the context of evolution. The plant does not look at the insect, decide to mimic it, and then evolve that way.//
||Are you sure? Some of these mimicries are pretty specific, like appearing to be the opposite sex of the male insect it is trying to attract as well as mimicking chemical signatures of the female as well.
There's an interesting Scientific American article on the subject. [link]
||pssst, the potatoes have eyes, pass it on...
||//Are you sure? Some of these mimicries are pretty
specific, like appearing to be the opposite sex of the
male insect it is trying to attract as well as
mimicking chemical signatures of the female as
||Never ask me if I'm sure. I'm _always_ sure.
||Heh, that ^ sounds like a winning slogan for a certain feminine hygiene product here.