Weird Nature Facts

What is the most mindblowing fact you know? For me it's trees being scattered all over the place. For most of my life I always thought trees were more closely related to each other than other plants. Seeing them pop up all over the place is mindblowing.

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  1. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    The genes that cause deer to grow antlers cause bone cancer in other mammals. Deer essentially have big branching tumors growing out the tops of their heads.

  2. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    Yeah, I love finding out about what kind of weird shit local plant families get up to in other parts of the world. Like the mint family ending up as teak trees or near-succulent Teucrium species.
    Anyway, I like the fact that mycorrhizal mushrooms can end up becoming parasitic if they think that the plant is shortchanging them in their deal. So they'll start dissolving the root tissues they'd normally deliver nutrients to as part of their symbiosis. "Nice root network you got here. Would be a shame if some fungal pathogen started wrecking it..."

  3. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    >elm
    >nettle
    I-I don't know what to say...

  4. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    I love plants so much it's unreal bros

  5. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    Wait until you realize a huge portion of extinct, early tracheophytes were also trees. Asides from a bunch of ferns (a couple of which still exist today with a tree-like body), a notable example includes calamites, which is pretty much a giant horsetail, up to 15m iirc.

    Ferns and horsetails form the huge group Monilophytes, whereas the sister group is the Lycophytes, which includes Lycopodium, Selaginella and other small herbs. Lycophytes also have an extinct tree group, Lepidodendron. In case it feels weird to you, let me tell you: it branches dichotomically at its apex (not laterally), has no leaves, and those fruit-like structures at the end of the branches are just huge sporangia. So it feels like your average tree, just completely primitive.

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      Yeah, it's interesting to imagine that a lot of plant variety that is now very small used to grow fairly big in that ecological niche.

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      This'll be a long shot; Carboniferous Plants, especially trees, are absolutely fricking fascinating to me, but I know basically nothing about them:

      Do any plant Anons think they can recommend me a good book on the subject of Carboniferous Period Flora? Ideally one with lots of pictures?

      • 4 months ago
        Anonymous

        these plants are so primitive all they can do is literally branch and then when they reach the end of their branching growth they make sporangia and then can't do any more branching so they fricking just die.

        • 4 months ago
          Anonymous

          >DUDE i just LOVE the hustle and bustle of gymnosperm evolution, it’s so DYNAMIC and makes me feel like i’m really keeping pace with those dumb animals! you should totally come on down to my forest, it’s got INFLORESCENCES and everything, we can develop a nice woody diaspore or three and get crazy growing compound leaves! and dude, dude, DUDE, we have GOTTA evolve a pseudanthium - listen here, right, it’s a flower with which us HIGHER PLANTS who do HIGHER PLANTING can go ATTRACT POLLINATORS. BUT!!!! it’s also a COMPOSITE of many flowers, so we attract awesome POLLINATORS pollinating many flowers at once! I’m frickin JACKED man, i’m gonna SLAM this vascular cambium and grow another branch!!!

          • 4 months ago
            Anonymous

            >hating on angiosperms
            Gymnosperm roots wrote this post.

  6. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    >For most of my life I always thought trees were more closely related to each other than other plants. Seeing them pop up all over the place is mindblowing.
    Many groups of plants that are only distantly related have more or less the same "toolkit", for want of a better term.
    There's not necessarily a huge genetic difference between a tree and a related shrub or creeper.
    When you think of palms you tend to think of trees, but there are 600 of species of rattan palms, which are true palms but are vines that climb up other trees.
    There are similar examples in many other groups.
    BTW, you can see just how closely palms are related to grass. The clasping structure that a blade or leaf of grass uses to clasp the stalk of the main grass plant is essentially identical to the clasping structure that holds a palm frond (leaf) to a palm tree.
    You can see how closely Agaves are related to the Asparagus you buy in the supermarket. The flower spear of an Agave and the spear of Asparagus are the same structure, right down to the triangular scales on the shaft.
    I agree, it's amazing.

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      Honestly when you look at how grass, banana trees, and pineapple trees grow, it actually kind of makes sense that they're closely related.

      https://i.imgur.com/i2WOAKc.jpg

      Wait until you realize a huge portion of extinct, early tracheophytes were also trees. Asides from a bunch of ferns (a couple of which still exist today with a tree-like body), a notable example includes calamites, which is pretty much a giant horsetail, up to 15m iirc.

      Ferns and horsetails form the huge group Monilophytes, whereas the sister group is the Lycophytes, which includes Lycopodium, Selaginella and other small herbs. Lycophytes also have an extinct tree group, Lepidodendron. In case it feels weird to you, let me tell you: it branches dichotomically at its apex (not laterally), has no leaves, and those fruit-like structures at the end of the branches are just huge sporangia. So it feels like your average tree, just completely primitive.

      It's a trip sometimes. With animals we can relate to them more. It's easy enough to look at something and get a rough idea of what you're looking at. Plants and other domains get a lot less attention and come off as almost alien to us. It's a whole different world most overlook.

      I'm starting to like plants bros. I think they are GROWING on me.

      • 4 months ago
        Anonymous

        Plants are amazing. We used to have a /plant/ general here but pic related.

        • 4 months ago
          Anonymous

          >We used to have a /plant/ general here
          ? Don't we still have it.

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      >The clasping structure that a blade or leaf of grass uses to clasp the stalk of the main grass plant is essentially identical to the clasping structure that holds a palm frond (leaf) to a palm tree.
      >The flower spear of an Agave and the spear of Asparagus are the same structure
      These are kind of mind-blowing. I should read about plants more.

      • 4 months ago
        Anonymous

        thats cuz palm trees and grass are closely related. Alongside orchids of all things.

  7. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    >Grass next to bananas
    Wtf, I love animal taxonomy but plant taxonomy seems alien to me.

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      Honestly when you look at how grass, banana trees, and pineapple trees grow, it actually kind of makes sense that they're closely related.

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      It's a trip sometimes. With animals we can relate to them more. It's easy enough to look at something and get a rough idea of what you're looking at. Plants and other domains get a lot less attention and come off as almost alien to us. It's a whole different world most overlook.

  8. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    Yeah, I find it weird as well. Trees keep evolving over and over again.

  9. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    Convergent evolution is kind of crazy like that. If there's one think we can be almost certain of about potential alien biospheres, it's that trees will probably be involved.

  10. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    Most mammals can hybridize with each other. They just don't attempt it because of imprinting/laws

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