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Thread: Sundew Taxonomy

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Premise 1) Sundews are found on several continents. Premise 2) There are critters that occupy the same niche in different locations, with similar appendages but are not related. Premise 3) There are critters that are related but don't look similar and don't occupy the same niche (horseshoe crabs vs. spiders). Question: Are the sundews from the various continents related to one another or are they just occupying the same ecological niche and look similar? The same could be asked of pitcher plants and butterworts.

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    The study of phylogeny, tracing the evolution of the species through consideration of form, is the focus of taxonomy which is the science of classification of these forms. Similar characteristics (for example in Drosera the type of division of the styles) allows for placement within an interelated system based on common conserved characteristics. The Genus probably arose in Australia or Africa when they were untited as a continent and radiated from there. Modern molecular biology looks for the relationships of specific DNA markers and their placement and the results allows the construction of a phyletic "tree" showing how the plants interealate through the branches of this tree.
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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    So they ARE truly related! I'm amazed at the amount of Drosera species, while there is only one VFT.

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    Granting the closeness of Dionaea to Aldrovanda, I suspect that the land form Dionaea is probably a "recent" species probably evolved from the aquatic form of Aldrovanda (or a common ancestor), which although monotypic is far more widespread.
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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Aldrovanda? This is brand spanking new to me! Gotta look this one up! Sounds like there is a huge gap between what is and what was. Thanx!

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    So I did a quick search on Aldrovanda and the first entry was Barry (ookie mookie woosie woo) Rice's FAQ site. I had that website saved to favorites when I first started researching the plants I bought this summer. I'm not ready for utrics, yet. Let's see if I can successfully wake up my VFT's in a couple months.

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