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5

I think that the most important point has been given by CactusWoman, when (s)he says "Just because you cannot forsee a use for more "bulgy" spikes doesn't mean there isn't a use for them." In addition to that, I would like to say that several plants evolved traits that were beneficial at a time where other herbivores existed and that are now useless. Those ...


12

I think this is the Chinese Redbud (Cercis chinensis), see this image (from here):


4

Just because you cannot forsee a use for more "bulgy" spikes doesn't mean there isn't a use for them. Furthermore, natural selection isn't about producing perfect organisms, it's about selecting for traits that are "good enough". There is also more to evolution than natural selection. The phenomenon of genetic drift can cause a neutral or slightly ...


0

Most fruit/seed evolution is probably a reflection of the plants propagation strategy and any existing symbiotic forager relationship. The strawberry expands its range by creeping with feeder shoots. It is also heavily foraged by small birds , thus the exterior small seeds. Nut trees i.e. walnuts , are on the other end of the spectrum. The seed is nearly ...


11

The short answer: Fruits are large compared to seeds because humans have made them large. In the natural environment, there is a different set of evolutionary pressures. A fruit has to be able to successfully propagate itself using its seeds, while commercially farmed fruit is usually cloned via vegetative propagation. Therefore, the commercial farmed ...


1

Because seeds are not appealing to animals and they can only be carried by animals if they are made appealing - there are exceptions of course such as this one -. Seeds are covered with juicy layers that can be nutrient to animals in order to be made appealing and to be dispersed. Animals eat those juicy layers along with seeds, seeds resist digestion and ...


3

A single ovule in a fruit is pollinated by a single grain of pollen. So, in theory, a fruit with n seeds can be pollinated by n grains of pollen. In reality, of course, not every pollen grain makes it to the ovules, but if we treat your assumption as true, then a flower can be fully pollinated by as many pollen grains as there are ovules in the flower. If ...


2

1) Your understanding of taxonomy is outdated by a few hundred years. Linneaus' original system was based on flower morphology, but we since realized that the most effective taxonomy takes into account many different traits. In today's times, we mainly use DNA sequencing to determine relationships between organisms. 2) The leaf structure is not necessarily ...


5

"Teleology is like a mistress to a biologist: he cannot live without her but he's unwilling to be seen with her in public." - J.B.S. Haldane (1892 - 1964) I can't tell you why Lapidaria margaretae looks like 'stones'. But I can deduce something from the way this plant looks. First and foremost, I can say this plant probably evolved in an arid region, ...


1

Perhaps the answer is in natural selection. Over many generations, if these plants are constantly exposed to the same virus, one of them may obtain a mutation or something similar that allows it to be resistant, thus that plant will have higher survival and growth rate and thus more seeds. The current plant itself may also adapt to the presence of this ...



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