Home > Just For Fun > The Hunter Is A Plant Propigator

The Hunter Is A Plant Propigator

If you’ve never caught an episode of NPRs Radio Lab, you just don’t know what you’re missing.  Amusing, insightful, and thought provoking the show brings up topics and examines them closely.  Robert Krulwich, one of the contributors to Radio Lab, has his own blog over at NPR.  From it he ponders ‘Sciencey Stuff’ as he calls it.  And this week he’s pondering ‘men who wear pants‘.

Specifically he’s looking back at the work performed by Edward Salisbury in the 1930s. During a walk that Salisbury took through fields and down paths he discovered that he had picked up hundreds of hitchhiking seeds in the cuffs of his pants.  Salisbury planted them in pots and found that all of them were viable plants that grew to adult hood.

There’s more to the story than that, which you can read (and watch!) over at Krulwich’s blog.

But I’ve got add something to the debate about seed carrying.  I’d wager that a dirty, muddy hunter with all of his/her gear probably helps to transport more seed from one spot to another than any 1930s botanist ever did.

(For those of you who didn’t go to the above link, you’ve got to visit this post by Krulwich. In it he discusses all of the experiments that show that when a human is blindfolded they can not walk in a straight line. Hard as they try, and even when they think they’ve walked straight, it turns out that they will walk in circles.  So the next time you’re out and lost a bit in the woods, just remember that you come by it naturally.)

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