# Tag Info

## Hot answers tagged plant-design

40

They did. Now, the first trees evolved on Earth right around the same time that Prototaxites went extinct, so perhaps trees just out-compete them and they really can't co-exist... but it's not entirely obvious why Prototaxites disappeared when trees showed up. If they were actually lichens, relying on photosynthesis from their algal component to survive, ...

31

You're lucky, this is a case of "nature already did it". A combination of melting resin, high internal pressure and physical tension works for various existing plants such as the squirting cucumber, touch-me-nots, persian silk trees, yellow woodsorrel and violets. You can watch slow-mo videos of them on youtube, decide on which method you prefer and then ...

22

Glass Some plants already sequester minerals in order to form blades in their surface: grasses and phytoliths. Phytoliths are thought to be at least in part a defense mechanism against herbivory, abrading the mouthparts of insects and ungulates and releasing chemicals with their breakdown that further degrade vertebrate enamel. It's just a small step from ...

19

Your concoction is Literal Madness in a bottle In Afghanistan I was routinely awake for days on end, a state achieved by drinking Monster, coffee, and red-bull like it was water. Its been years since I served and my circadian rhythm is still screwed up. Hell, a recent study by the military states that I and my brethren probably have permanent "circadian ...

18

Try the Yucca When it comes to plants that have sharp edges, many gardeners may immediately think of plants like succulents and cacti... however, many other sharp leaved plants are available in the form of palms and ornamental grasses... In many cases, plants that have sharp edges can easily injure gardeners or their guests when planted in less than ideal ...

17

I would say your first question isn't really answerable. If by viable you mean, "Can they exist?" then I think the answer is: not with anything similar to current terrestrial biology, but you could handwave it and say evolution has devised a completely new biochemistry. It seems unlikely, but I'll grant it as it's the whole premise of the question. The ...

14

You have two really good, informative examples (one as an answer, one in the comments) of real-world scenarios. So here is a really wild, out-there but plausible answer. The fruit has formed a really good symbiotic relationship with a particular strain of bacteria. The plant provides these bacteria (located in the fruit pod) with nutrients, and the bacteria ...

14

I asked my brother-in-law, who knows a lot about plants, and he wrote: Monocots and dicots both have only a single embryo per seed. The writer probably got confused by the double fertilization process of zygote and endosperm that occurs in both monocots and dicots. There are a number of extinct and extant non-angiosperm plants that could easily be re-...

14

Every organism needs energy of some sort to survive. There are two basic strategies: go to where the energy is or wait for it to come to you. Both have advantages depending on how plentiful and mobile said energy source is, especially when you consider competition and predation, so it's reasonable to assume you'd find both. Keep in mind that once you have ...

13

No, it's not possible because it would be a sort of perpetuum mobile: the human supplying the plant with heat produced by consuming what the plant supplies and the plant using that heat to provide food to the human. For the same reason you can't survive eating only your own flesh. Thermodynamics is a harsh mistress.

11

You have to deal with an important problem: Chlorine is way less abundant than Oxygen, thus it makes much harder to build a biochemistry on it. Oxygen is the third most abundant atom in the solar system after Hydrogen and Helium, while Chlorine is about 4 orders of magnitude less abundant. It's simply really hard to develop a biochemistry based on a ...

11

Both pollination and seeds dispersal can work using the peculiar properties of the thin atmosphere: no drag and extremely low pressure. Basically the plant develops a pressurized capsule containing the pollen/seeds and fluid at higher pressure than environment. When the capsule cracks because it's ripe, the pollen/seeds will be propelled by the fluid and ...

11

My comment as an addition to Logan R. Kearsley was too complex, but see this as an addition to his answer. It would make it more difficult for a mushroom to grow into a treelike structure than a lichen. They draw energy most often from either living things or the decaying matter. That means it requires a constant source of other living things to grow, while ...

10

As @kingledion said, you cannot simply megadose caffeine to achieve the effects you describe. From a realistic standpoint: there is no known drug that safely keeps you alert for three or four days, sleep is physically and mentally necessary: caffeine doesn't change that your body builds up a tolerance for caffeine even with normal caffeine addiction I'm ...

8

How About: Three cotyledons. A single vein down the main of the leaf with orthogonal feeder veins. giving the leaf a heavy central cylinder that the leaf essentially flops on either side of. Vascular Bundles usual organsied as a honeycomb, or latice like structure. Several Tap roots present. Average three though as high as five or six. For the three case ...

8

What you're describing is not a stupid plot convenience at all and there is already some GM research attempting to make existing crop plants more salt tolerant by crossing them with plants like mangrove trees and seaweed that have different strategies for either resisting salt intake through acidic roots, or methods to excrete it like mangrove trees to. This ...

7

Trees actually do have a circulatory system already. It's called the Vascular System. It works rather well too because it can support trees much larger than we are and get nutrients up through the roots all the way out to the leaves to support new growth, and oxygen from the leaves all the way down to the roots to keep the entire organism alive. In point of ...

7

Scientists already have done something like this by mixing genes of plants with genes extracted from bio-luminescent bacteria. For example, this research paper and this article describe the creation of bioluminescent tobacco plants by injecting DNA from Photobacterium leiognathi into Nicotiana tabacum. It looks like the plants glowed green instead of blue, ...

7

Rapid growth and spreading. Willing to grow in marginal and poor soils. Ability to survive grazing, including really severe grazing. Ability to survive being stepped on by absolutely everything in sight. Strong root system for stabilizing soil. Ability to either survive fire, or rapidly reseed and regrow after a fire. If in a region that experiences ...

7

You have blundered somewhere in calculating the density $density = mass / volume$ $density = 1.31 M_E / (1.027 R_E)^3 = 1.31/(1.027)^3 D_E = 1.209 D_E$ which seems much more reasonable. To explain why I didn't count the constants: $V_E =4/3 \pi R^3_E$ $V_P = 4/3 \pi R^3_P$ $V_P/V_E = $$4/3 \pi R^3_P \over 4/3 \pi R^3_E$$= R^3_P/R^3_E = (1.027R_E)^3/R^3_E$

6

Not really an option the way you want it, where it is always on fire. Fire takes a LOT of energy that the tree needs to build up over time. Let's build a situation where it might make sense to exist with limited time: On the continent of Worse Than Australia, funghi and various insects are a huge threat for plant life. They infest trees and kill them over ...

6

A lightning has on average a voltage drop in the range of $10^9$ to $10^{10}$ V and a current in the range of 2 to 200 kA. This means that to store it for future usage, anything would need to handle between $2 \cdot 10^{12}$ and $2 \cdot 10^{15}$ W, as calculated by multiplying the voltage drop by the current. I hope you realize those numbers are ...

6

We (science) don't yet have a way of converting heat into energy directly, a gradient from hot to cold is needed where the flow of heat from hot to cold can be tapped to create energy. In a human body, there isn't really the needed heat gradient to tap for energy. If however we disregard that, and assume some "magical" feature has been found by the ...

5

Borrow the whole thing intact. https://theherbalacademy.com/3-old-timey-herb-books-you-can-read-online/ On looking into this I was very pleased to find Culpeppers Complete Herbal. https://archive.org/details/cu31924001353279 It is written in chatty period English, with commentary on the herbs, their uses and also his countrymen, foreigners and whatever ...

5

The drug is incredibly hard to find in nature and every attempt to artificially manufacture it has failed. Why is it so hard to find? The fungus it comes from only lives for a certain time, in small patches, and then dies off. It takes so much energy from the soil that it basically kills of the surrounding area, and then itself. The area comes back to life ...

5

Before the accident, she was working on natural solutions to lizard infestation problem. She genetically engineered a plant that smells like good food to lizards, but produces a neurotoxin that kills lizards when they eat it. Genetic engineering cannot do that now, but you are talking about 30th century.

5

Sugars are energy even for a plant. Having so much sugars around is like having free lunch every day. Trouble is that the table might be crowded. Plant would need to develop a lot more symbiotic relations with the surrounding bacteria than usual. I imagine that such world would be swamped by bacteria and insects.

5

As L.Dutch says, you need heat, but heat isn't incompatible with plantlife. Consider the eucalyptus. Now the eucalyptus isn't just a passive pyrophyte like some, no, it's an active pyrophyte. The eucalyptus pumps flammable oils into the air around it to make fires more common and bigger. Pyromaniac trees The right weather conditions, a dry thunderstorm would ...

5

What we need is a a way to justify a biological specimen naturally creating nitrogen triiodide Which, when I was in high school coating books with the stuff before tossing them onto tables, was lovingly known as contact explosives. It's an unstable compound that goes "boom!" with enough jostling around. And the really cool thing about this is that ...

4

Espresso already exists A deadly dose of caffeine is about 10 grams. Every 100 grams of coffee has about 40 mg of caffeine. An 8 ounce cup of coffee will have about 100 mg of caffeine. A shot of espresso has about 200 mg of caffeine per 100 grams. Therefore, the deadly dose of espresso will be about a gallon; but that is the average lethal dose. Medical ...

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