“How Flowers Changed the World” Questions and Answers
Eiseley states that observers from the far side of our solar system could have perceived only one change in the whole history of the planet Earth. Describe this change and explain what would have been responsible for it. a.
Eiseley says they would be able to “discern a subtle change in the light emanating from our planet”. What Eiseley is talking about is the evolution of earth from a place with red deserts like Mars and blackness of naked basalt to that of a green planet enveloped in plants.
What was the soundless, violent explosion that Eiseley refers to? Why could this be referred to as an explosion? a.
The sudden appearance and domination of angiosperms/flowering plants. This can be defined as an explosion because plants went from relative unimportance to suddenly taking a revolutionary role in the entire earth’s ecosystem. Just like an explosion, angiosperms spread extremely suddenly and rapidly.
What type of plants were the first to appear on land?
Eiseley notes that these plants clung of necessity to swamps and watercourses and did not move to drier areas. Why were these plants not successful on drier land? a.
Eisely states the first types of plants to appear were “wandering fingers of green” that crept along river systems as well as primitive ferns and mosses. b.
The reproductive processes of these plants depended on water. These plants did not use seeds to reproduce; rather, they used microscopic sperm that traveled through water to fertilize a female cell.
Eiseley notes that the appearance of the flowering plants parallels the rise of birds and mammals. How did the rise of flowering plants affect the success of birds and mammals? a.
In his narrative, Eisely dictates that birds and mammals were waiting for the explosion of flowers. This is because, with the rise of flowers, mammals and birds would see a decrease of reptiles and find a new supply of food/nutrition. The age...
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