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(IFL Science)   Scientists discover two species of trees that use their seeds to entrap birds and turn them into plant food. Alfred Hitchcock would have approved   ( iflscience.com) divider line
    More: Creepy, Plant, new species, Pisonia trees, sticky fruits, small fragile bones, main dispersal agents, Dr Ana Roqué, Marcus A. Caraballo-Ortiz  
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3296 clicks; posted to Geek » on 28 Sep 2017 at 12:34 AM (3 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



42 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2017-09-27 11:40:21 PM  
i.pinimg.com
 
2017-09-27 11:42:49 PM  
It's so cool that we caught the tree at this stage of it's evolution.  I wonder what future iterations of that species might do.
 
2017-09-28 01:00:11 AM  
As described it seems more accidental/incidental than anything else.
 
2017-09-28 01:39:43 AM  
Zombie ant fungus laughs at your pathetic shenanigans.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fungus-makes-zombie-ants/
 
2017-09-28 01:42:38 AM  

Mister Buttons: Zombie ant fungus laughs at your pathetic shenanigans.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fungus-makes-zombie-ants/


Reading stuff like this doesn't help my view of the world.
 
2017-09-28 01:53:13 AM  

mongbiohazard: As described it seems more accidental/incidental than anything else.


That's generally how carnivorous plants work.
 
2017-09-28 01:54:08 AM  

Phony_Soldier: Mister Buttons: Zombie ant fungus laughs at your pathetic shenanigans.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fungus-makes-zombie-ants/

Reading stuff like this doesn't help my view of the world.


At least it makes M. Knight Shamalan movies a bit more believable.  Natural biological warfare is pretty neat, IMO.
 
2017-09-28 01:54:55 AM  

Mister Buttons: Phony_Soldier: Mister Buttons: Zombie ant fungus laughs at your pathetic shenanigans.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fungus-makes-zombie-ants/

Reading stuff like this doesn't help my view of the world.

At least it makes M. Knight Shamalan movies a bit more believable.  Natural biological warfare is pretty neat, IMO.


Human biological warfare is pretty terrifying, I should add.
 
2017-09-28 01:59:02 AM  

Makh: It's so cool that we caught the tree at this stage of it's evolution.  I wonder what future iterations of that species might do.


They become ents
 
2017-09-28 02:03:03 AM  

Mister Buttons: Phony_Soldier: Mister Buttons: Zombie ant fungus laughs at your pathetic shenanigans.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fungus-makes-zombie-ants/

Reading stuff like this doesn't help my view of the world.

At least it makes M. Knight Shamalan movies a bit more believable.  Natural biological warfare is pretty neat, IMO.


This also does not help my view of the world.
 
2017-09-28 02:09:31 AM  

Mister Buttons: Zombie ant fungus laughs at your pathetic shenanigans.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fungus-makes-zombie-ants/


This, as well as the linked article are all eerily reminiscent of Clark Ashton Smith's "The Seed from the Sepulcher".
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jCjcqJs3ss
 
2017-09-28 02:13:46 AM  

Makh: It's so cool that we caught the tree at this stage of it's evolution.  I wonder what future iterations of that species might do.


Triffid Attack
Youtube LYEpBTAD27k
 
2017-09-28 02:17:50 AM  

Phony_Soldier: Mister Buttons: Phony_Soldier: Mister Buttons: Zombie ant fungus laughs at your pathetic shenanigans.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fungus-makes-zombie-ants/

Reading stuff like this doesn't help my view of the world.

At least it makes M. Knight Shamalan movies a bit more believable.  Natural biological warfare is pretty neat, IMO.

This also does not help my view of the world.


Here's a kitten pic to make your feel like the world's not all terrible.:

img.fark.net
 
2017-09-28 02:27:18 AM  
Most people see plants as this harmless static thing.  Oh no my friend, if they get loose they'll kill you and everyone you love.
 
2017-09-28 02:38:52 AM  

2wolves: Most people see plants as this harmless static thing.  Oh no my friend, if they get loose they'll kill you and everyone you love.


Kill or be killed.   Thanks Darwin.
 
2017-09-28 02:54:47 AM  
Now I'm almost in the mood to go watch Day of the Triffids....
 
2017-09-28 02:56:18 AM  
Wait, wait, no, missing the most obvious one...

"Feed me, Sparrowmore!"
 
2017-09-28 02:59:18 AM  
And they found them after the eclipse... I've seen this before.
FEED ME SEYMORE - LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
Youtube L7SkrYF8lCU
 
2017-09-28 03:25:05 AM  
Don't apricots have insect parts from pollinators getting stuck in the nectar or some such?
 
2017-09-28 03:30:11 AM  

LouisZepher: Don't apricots have insect parts from pollinators getting stuck in the nectar or some such?


I think so, I think wasps are involved in that  cycle.   Fark wasps.
 
2017-09-28 03:39:26 AM  
Oh, sometimes it's not just *parts*...

http://www.thekitchn.com/strange-symbiosis-the-fig-and-126960

I'm pretty sure that bit gets amusingly and uncomfortably elucidated upon in part of Olivia Judson's "Dr Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation"

[It's a fantastic read, BTW.]
 
2017-09-28 06:29:51 AM  
Something that isn't in Australia. Still near the equator.
 
2017-09-28 08:11:50 AM  

Merltech: Something that isn't in Australia. Still near the equator.


Also in the Caribbean and the tropical Americas, there's the manchineel tree, which is damn nasty in its own right. The fruit is sweet-tasting but horribly toxic, and contact with its sap produces severe blisters. As a result, even standing under one of those bastards isn't a good idea.
 
2017-09-28 08:26:19 AM  
img.fark.net

First they came for the kites...but I said nothing
 
2017-09-28 08:32:22 AM  
New species found on the island of Puerto Rico.

Maria...let me just take care of these trees.
 
2017-09-28 09:05:03 AM  

Mister Buttons: LouisZepher: Don't apricots have insect parts from pollinators getting stuck in the nectar or some such?

I think so, I think wasps are involved in that  cycle.   Fark wasps.


I think it's figs.
 
2017-09-28 09:10:39 AM  
media.giphy.com
 
2017-09-28 09:13:08 AM  

jaggspb: [media.giphy.com image 460x243]


Finally, people will give this movie the respect that it deserves.

img.fark.net
 
2017-09-28 09:23:09 AM  

Fubegra: Merltech: Something that isn't in Australia. Still near the equator.

Also in the Caribbean and the tropical Americas, there's the manchineel tree, which is damn nasty in its own right. The fruit is sweet-tasting but horribly toxic, and contact with its sap produces severe blisters. As a result, even standing under one of those bastards isn't a good idea.


The farking gympie gympie tree is covered in fine hairs which contain a neurotoxin. It's unclear why an Australian tree would have evolved a defense against placental mammals in the first place.
 
2017-09-28 09:31:33 AM  

LoneWolf343: mongbiohazard: As described it seems more accidental/incidental than anything else.

That's generally how carnivorous plants work.


No, not really. Pitcher plants, Venus flytraps, and sundew plants all have very specialized organs designed elaborately to kill and consume prey. There's a clear mechanism and strategy evolved for this particular purpose.

The tree described has seeds designed to hitch rides very well, just sometimes creatures get too many and it causes them problems... and most of the time they don't. And the tree doesn't trap them and consume them like carnivorous plants typically do.... it just - maybe - falls to the ground and whatever isn't eaten by scavengers and predators could decay into the soil. Which is probably often not all that much. Any tree could get nutrients that way...

Calling it carnivorous is a stretch, IMHO. It's more like a tree that has sticky seeds which could be unhealthy for an animal who gets too many of them. But that doesn't get page clicks.
 
2017-09-28 09:34:58 AM  
Hroom.
 
2017-09-28 10:38:27 AM  
Someone posted a thing recently about brambles in the British islands that snare sheep to the point of hopelessness - after a period of struggle the sheep will give up and wait for death. The rotting carcasses then provide food for the brambles.

It's not as quick a death and digestion process as we associate with "carnivorous" behavior, but in a roundabout way these plants do consume animals. Then again, in the long run, most of us will be tree food, we just don't get killed by the trees.
 
2017-09-28 10:54:37 AM  
img.fark.net
What about meercat-eating plants?
 
2017-09-28 11:36:39 AM  
The Tnuctip Sunflowers nod approvingly, begin focusing hectares of sunlight in your direction.
 
2017-09-28 12:21:17 PM  

Hills-Sachs_Legion: Someone posted a thing recently about brambles in the British islands that snare sheep to the point of hopelessness - after a period of struggle the sheep will give up and wait for death. The rotting carcasses then provide food for the brambles.

It's not as quick a death and digestion process as we associate with "carnivorous" behavior, but in a roundabout way these plants do consume animals. Then again, in the long run, most of us will be tree food, we just don't get killed by the trees.


That's what they want you to think.
 
2017-09-28 12:53:29 PM  

Shazam999: Hills-Sachs_Legion: we just don't get killed by the trees.

That's what they want you to think.

img.fark.net
 
2017-09-28 01:04:07 PM  

Mister Buttons: LouisZepher: Don't apricots have insect parts from pollinators getting stuck in the nectar or some such?

I think so, I think wasps are involved in that  cycle.   Fark wasps.


Figs, not apricots.
 
2017-09-28 01:07:16 PM  

This text is now purple: Fubegra: Merltech: Something that isn't in Australia. Still near the equator.

Also in the Caribbean and the tropical Americas, there's the manchineel tree, which is damn nasty in its own right. The fruit is sweet-tasting but horribly toxic, and contact with its sap produces severe blisters. As a result, even standing under one of those bastards isn't a good idea.

The farking gympie gympie tree is covered in fine hairs which contain a neurotoxin. It's unclear why an Australian tree would have evolved a defense against placental mammals in the first place.



Unwitting use of gympie-gympie leaves as toilet paper has been the cause of at least one suicide.
 
2017-09-28 03:38:09 PM  

mongbiohazard: As described it seems more accidental/incidental than anything else.


Depending on how dependent the birds are on the seeds as foods and trees as roosting places, it could count as symbiotic
 
2017-09-28 09:20:21 PM  

Nicholas D. Wolfwood: The Tnuctip Sunflowers nod approvingly, begin focusing hectares of sunlight in your direction.


I thought we exterminated those things with a giant raincloud; that admittedly created a much worse problem, (but that's another book, tanjit!)
 
2017-09-28 10:15:42 PM  

Space Squid: Nicholas D. Wolfwood: The Tnuctip Sunflowers nod approvingly, begin focusing hectares of sunlight in your direction.

I thought we exterminated those things with a giant raincloud; that admittedly created a much worse problem, (but that's another book, tanjit!)


The sunflowers exist in far more places than Ringworld.  Silvereyes owes its name to them, if I recall correctly.
 
2017-09-29 05:27:20 AM  

mongbiohazard: LoneWolf343: mongbiohazard: As described it seems more accidental/incidental than anything else.

That's generally how carnivorous plants work.

No, not really. Pitcher plants, Venus flytraps, and sundew plants all have very specialized organs designed elaborately to kill and consume prey. There's a clear mechanism and strategy evolved for this particular purpose.

The tree described has seeds designed to hitch rides very well, just sometimes creatures get too many and it causes them problems... and most of the time they don't. And the tree doesn't trap them and consume them like carnivorous plants typically do.... it just - maybe - falls to the ground and whatever isn't eaten by scavengers and predators could decay into the soil. Which is probably often not all that much. Any tree could get nutrients that way...

Calling it carnivorous is a stretch, IMHO. It's more like a tree that has sticky seeds which could be unhealthy for an animal who gets too many of them. But that doesn't get page clicks.


Plant carnivory runs on a spectrum. Some plants trap prey bud don't digest it. A few bromeliads (and some others) hold prey for larger animals who eat it and poop out plant food. A few pitcher plants produce no digestive enzymes but rely on symbiotic microbes. There are some plants that trap prey and hold it until it dies and decomposes. One genus (Roridula I think) traps insects with glue but doesn't digest them. Instead, assassin bugs that are adapted to the traps eat whatever the plant caught and poop out fertilizer.
 
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