Enrichment Exercise 9
“The Private Life of Plants: Traveling” was a useful documentary to help clarify my understanding on how plants manage to spread their seeds and germinate. I enjoyed watching the different time lapses for the species of plants and it helped me to see exactly what happens rather than reading it in a book or seeing a simple picture. I was amazed at all the different mechanisms plants used to travel around and not stick to just one area. I did not expect the pointy spines of plants to allow them to grip ahold and move over almost any surface and can travel up to three inches in one day. It was interesting to learn how bird cage plants are still able to spread genetic material even though the plant itself is already dead. I feel I have a better understanding for the different mechanisms plants use to travel such as using the wind to be carried up to several miles. I never knew that height played a key role in how far seeds can travel and how much of an advantage it can be. I was amazed that the cottonwood seeds that travel along the water could end up in Germany. I never knew just how long these seeds could survive and how much they are able to withstand. I found the fixed wing gliders and helicopter comparison to be extremely fascinating and I was able to relate this to my personal knowledge. It was interesting how the narrator said even today, engineers are not able to replicate these forms. My favorite examples were the plants that build up pressure and eventually explode, shooting their seeds out. I see plants all day every day and feel I never knew how complex they really are. Burrs always get stuck to my horse’s hooves and the bottom of my pants and I now understand I am helping spread the seeds in all different locations. It was interesting to watch some of the mutualistic relationships between plants and animals as well. I always assumed animals destroyed plants but this is not the case at all with the elephants and the Acai...
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