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Thread: Change . . . it is good?

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    Moderator Joseph Clemens's Avatar
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    Consider this:

    Dionaea muscipula may have (probably has) been around for a very long time. And though the speculation that follows may seem far fetched, maybe it isn't far fetched enough. I'm sure many bizarre things have happened in this world to bring it to the state it is in today. I am not saying that I believe anything like my story that follows has ever happened to the VFT, but . . . who knows. I'm pretty sure that once upon a time there was not VFT, at least, not as we know it today. Something caused changes in what was --- and now we have VFTs.

    1. Given that humans are curious creatures.
    2. Given that even when living in harmony with nature we still make changes to "nature" that suit our beliefs.
    3. Given that humans (American Indians) have been living in VFT territory for hundreds if not thousands of years before Caucasians even saw this territory where VFTs are known to now live.

    What if, VFT had a more extensive territory before humans first set eyes on one, or what if, their territory was a hectare size bog behind village B. What if, the predominant trap form were "Fused Tooth" or "Bart Simpson" and for some superstitious reason these forms were considered evil and needed to be eliminated to purify "nature". Now hundreds or thousands of years later, they are the very rare forms, and what we consider "typical", may very well have once been the rare "mutations". If humans intervened to create the current situation or nature did it herself, who's to say. The "status quo" could even have been changed by the interactions of innumerable other factors -- and given that VFTs have been here for a very long time, what is "typical" today more than likely was not "typical" a thousand years ago.

    Epilogue:
    Variety may be the spice of life, but variety is the essence of nature and how she survives. Change may look out of place to us, but it is essential to the survival of everything, even us.



    Joseph Clemens
    Tucson, Arizona, U S A

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    very interesting view on things
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    If the Native Americans killed off the plants like Bart Simpson more power to them I say, hee hee.

    My feelings is phylogenically speaking Dionaea has just recently crawled out of the water onto the land, since its affinities to Aldrovanda are now proven by genitic analysis. Also it is true that the genus may not have been always monotypic.

    Variation tested through natural selection over millions of years of evolution can yield some very surprising (and successful) events that often may lead to a "variety" replacing a "species" outcompeting its progenitors. 10 million years later with no fossil record, who is to say which came first, the chicken or the egg?

    Such is the case with D. anglica which has far outcompeted D. linearis which is one of the parents. It could be that there were various intermediate forms of Dionaea, outcompeted and extinct now, or a common but extinct ancestor that also gave rise to Aldrovanda. Species is a verb, not a noun and what we see is the thinnest slice of reality, like the 3 blind men each trying to figure out what animal they are touching when each touches a different part of the elephant.

    Granting the limited range of Dionaea, I find it amusing to consider the single greatest adaption strategy responsible for the spreading of this species is it's obvious attraction to man, who has spread it all over the Earth. I wonder if they have managed to evolve an attractant chemical that makes people want to grow them.....

    Perhaps the mutant forms will somehow manage to establish and radiate as well. Most mutations in nature are lethal, not beneficial, but if you shuffle and deal enough hands you are bound to get a winning hand sooner or later. Later may be 5 million years from now, but hey, let's hope it is a long game!
    "Grow More, Share More"

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