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Thread: kind of ridiculous

  1. #9
    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    If the plants were designed to catch mice they would have evolved properly.

  2. #10
    wicked good plants! Presto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (nepenthes gracilis @ Oct. 02 2006,10:34)]If the plants were designed to catch mice they would have evolved properly.
    true!

    thank you all for your help! hopefully I've convinced them that a cat would be a more effective method of rodent control...
    -Emily

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]If the plants were designed to catch mice they would have evolved properly.
    Maybe they weren't designed, and they're still evolving

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]but...snakes and such? my little sugar glider eats them and they are very good for her.
    It's an issue of basal metabolism. Reptiles have very slow metabolisms, and young ones convert much of what they eat into new growth, which means growing fat stores if they eat things like pinkies.

    In contrast, your sugar gliders are extraordinarily high-metabolism animals; they'll burn through the energy in a pinkie, fat and all, in a few hours. It's like the friend I'm sure everyone has who's thin as a rail and can eat a whole bucket of fried chicken and not gain a pound. If you have such a high metabolism that all the fat you eat gets burned up (like sugar gliders and other small mammals), no problem. If you don't (like reptiles), the fat gets stored. Humans just get obese, but reptiles have such low metabolisms that they store so much fat it can damage their livers, killing them.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]If the plants were designed to catch mice they would have evolved properly.
    Just because something evolved for one purpose doesn't mean it can't be employed for another purpose. The wings of insects evolved from gill-flaps. Teeth evolved from ancient fish scales. Lungs evolved from the swim bladder. This sort of functional shift is called 'exaptation' (to distinguish it from normal adaptation).

    On a smaller evolutionary timescale, the wings of a heron evolved for flight, but a simple shift in behavior has resulted in them being used for a shade while fishing, too. Reptile scales evolved as a means to prevent dessication, but also serve to protect from damage. The tail of lizards is mostly there for balance, but can also be used as a whip.

    So, even if CP evolution focused on trapping insects, that doesn't mean they couldn't also trap other things as well. The pitfall trap is, after all, an astounding efficient and effective mechanism to capturing small animals, vertebrate and invertabrate alike.

    Mokele
    \"With malleus aforethought, mammals got an earful of their ancestor's jaw.\"
    --J. Burns, on the evolution of auditory ossicles.

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    Hi all:

    Furthermore, Even if an accidental Nepenthes prey have organic matter not usually found in insects, the pitchers are able to handle almost anything that falls inside them. If worse comes to worst, then the pitcher rots but the some of the nutrients are still taken up by the plant and they will help produce the next pitcher.

    Gus

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