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  Re: Plants The sixth sense
From: StellrJ at aol.com on 2002.02.03 at 16:40:47(8150)
In a message dated Fri, 1 Feb 2002 11:04:31 AM Eastern Standard Time, Durightmm@aol.com writes:

> These scientific explanations make sense to scientist but not always to non scientist. For example we seem to be losing sight of the topic "sense" Writers want to know "How" an organism "knows" it's surroundings. How does the vine know. it's peers are being eaten?

It doesn't need to. It need only do the best it can at surviving and setting seed itself. If others are getting eaten, then they will have a disadvantage relative to the one not being eaten, as all try their own best to survive. But, if a plant being eaten produces defensive compounds, these may be detected by nearby plants, who can then respond with their own defenses before being attacked themselves. This is easier to understand when one realizes that even our own senses are essentially chemical in nature: we smell by detecting particles in the air, which trigger certain chemical reactions in the olfactory centers of our brains. Plants, of course, having neither noses nor brains, do this in a less-centralized way, over large areas of their bodies.

Jason Hernandez

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