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"PROBLEMS OF EVOLUTION": 12. PLANTS 1. Photosynthesis 2. Angiosperms 1. Origin 3. Carnivorous plants 1. Pitcher plant (Nepenthes alata) 2. Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula)
"PROBLEMS OF EVOLUTION": 12. PLANTS 1. Photosynthesis Evolution has no adequate explanation of the origin of photosynthesis. [top] 2. Angiosperms 1. Origin Origin of angiosperms (flowering plants) is still "an abominable mystery" .[top] 3. Carnivorous plants 1. Pitcher plant (Nepenthes alata)Anti-adhesive Layers Leave No Hope For Insects, ScienceDaily, 2006-01-17 ... Plants are able, using organic substances, to achieve effects that we otherwise mostly know only from technical materials. One example of this is the carnivorous pitcher plant .... These plants catch insects and hold them using traps with a double layer of crystalline wax. The upper layer has crystalloids which contaminate the attachment organs that insects use to adhere themselves to surfaces. The lower layer additionally reduces the contact area between the insect feet and plant surface. The insects thus slip into the pitcher-shaped traps, where they are digested .... The pitfall trap of the pitcher plant Nepenthes alata. .... In order to obtain nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous, which may be lacking in the soil, carnivorous plants catch and digest small animals, primarily insects. Th ese plants have evolved particular organs to cath the origins of the pitchers lie in leaf organs, the structures that originate from the leaves are not leaf-like. Nepenthes pitchers are organised in a complex way, with a lid, a peristome (a ring around the pitcher's entrance), and slippery and digestive zones, the latter containing a supply of digestive fluid. These pitchers draw in insects, hold them, and finally digest them. The slippery zone is very important to successful trappings. It is covered by a layer of crystalline wax on which insects lose their footing and slide down into the digestive fluid. ...I would like to see a detailed, step-by-step, Darwinian explanation of how the natural selection of random micromutations produced the elaborate traps of carnivorous plants, like the pitcher plant and the Venus flytrap. But I suspect there are none, because if there were, the Darwinists would not waste there time on peppered moths and finch beaks! Like Behe's mousetrap, all these parts are needed to be working together simultaneously as a coordinated system to catch insects. [top] 2. Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula)How a Venus flytrap snaps up its victims, New Scientist, 29 January 2005 A VENUS flytrap snaps shut faster than you can blink. And now we know why. Whereas our sluggish movements are the result of muscles contracting, the plant snaps shut in the way that a torn tennis ball flips inside out. When Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan of Harvard University and his colleagues used a high-speed camera to film the leaves closing, they noticed that the curvature of the leaves flipped from convex to concave as the trap closes. The transformation takes just one-tenth of a second. They reasoned that the leaves were snapping from one stable shape to another - a movement that can occur much faster than muscle contraction. ... Darwin was fascinated by the plant. "Our study still leaves us baffled about one question that motivated him - how did this mechanism evolve?" Mahadevan says. ...How the Venus flytrap captures its prey," Independent, January 26 2005. ... Paris - American and French scientists believed they have explained how one of nature's marvels, the Venus flytrap, snaps shut to snare its victims. The plant - described by Charles Darwin as "one of the most wonderful in the world" - is able to enclose a fly within its clamshellshaped leaves in just 100 milliseconds, faster than the eye can blink. ... [top]
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Created: 3 November, 2003. Updated: 12 March, 2006.