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Flowering Plants' Roots Pushed Back 100M Years

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  • by Nidi62 (1525137) on Wednesday October 02, 2013 @11:36AM (#45014595)
    Those are some deep roots. Would hate to have to try to dig those roots out with a trowel.
  • That FSM just makes it look like it is 100 Millon years old...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 02, 2013 @11:51AM (#45014809)

    Clearly science is always correcting itself, it cannot be infallible, but is prone to mistakes that they are always fixing. A flawed system than cannot be trusted.

    Unlike religion, which is never ever proven wrong. That makes it reliable and trustworthy. It's even self-certifying.

    • Yes, let's all worship angiosperms.
      • by H0p313ss (811249) on Wednesday October 02, 2013 @12:03PM (#45014963)

        Yes, let's all worship angiosperms.

        That does have it's merits, for example we can prove they exist and unlike many gods they are nice to have in the house and garden.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Apple trees are angiosperms.

        The Tree of Knowledge is an apple tree.

        Eris throws an apple in the central Discordian myth.

        And outside of that, other trees feature prominently in various myths (Yggdrasil is a yew tree, tree roots resemble the FSM's noodly appendages...)

        I think we have a pretty healthy respect for certain angiosperms, even if they're not outright worshipped as a group.

        • Are you sure you aren't mything the point?
        • by Rinikusu (28164)

          The Tree of Knowledge is more correctly thought to have been a pomegranate tree, IIRC my bible history class correctly, since apples are relatively new on the world. The bible doesn't actually specify. /nitpick

          • I think I heard that once! Oh well. Still an angiosperm.
          • by Darinbob (1142669)

            There are many suggestions about what the fruit was. The Bible (western Christian version, ignoring things like Book of Enoch) just does not have any description that could help identify it. Apple is a western idea, probably from the similarity in sounds from Latin, but other suggestions are pomegranite, grape, fig, mushroom, and even meat. If one were to take it literally, then it's probably something unique to that one tree alone and not a common species to be found elsewhere.

        • Since yew trees (Taxus) are gymnosperms, that kind of queers your proposed theology, unless you accept the more mainstream doctrine that Yggdrasil is an ash (Fraxinus). Also, don't forget that His Noodly Appendages are derived from wheat and the sacramental beverages are made from barley and grapes.
        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          It's good to see you in a biology thread ;)

          The Tree of Knowledge is an apple tree.

          No, it was not. Adam and Eve were thrown out of Eden to keep them away from the tree of life, they weren't supposed to eat from either that or the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (NOT the "tree of knowledge") that they had taken a bite from. The two trees were as complimentary as a yin to a yang; the knowledge of good and evil is the knowledge of pain and death. So you had the tree of life and the tree of death, and las

          • ...and as another commenter noted, the tree was probably meant to be read as a pomegranate tree anyway. Still an angiosperm!
            • by mcgrew (92797) *

              Well, it was a fruit tree so yeah, it was probably an angiosperm. Are there any fruit trees that that aren't?

        • by CODiNE (27417)

          Don't forget the Christmas tree and it's religious origins. (Hint: Not Christian.)

          • Actually, conifers aren't angiosperms, so the standard modern Christmas tree doesn't qualify. (It's a narrower category than I first assumed.)
      • by kanweg (771128)

        All angiosperms are sacred

        Bert

    • Ranked Funny here but I've seen religious folks say that and completely believe it. Were you to post it to a forum filled with ultra-religious folks, it would get ranked Insightful and would be followed with comment after comment saying how this definitely proves how science is wrong because it changes while religion is right because it doesn't change at all ever*.

      * Ignore all those times over the centuries when religion has changed. Those never happened. Not at all. Everything's always been the way it

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I like that every time an evolution article comes about somebody has to use it as an occasion to mock religion. I find it amazingly telling how unimpressive and fallacious the arguments against religion seem to be.

      Most are too proud to let their faith in evolution be shaken, but I challenge you to watch this with an open mind. You might come to a new conclusion. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0u3-2CGOMQ

      • by khallow (566160)

        Most are too proud to let their faith in evolution be shaken

        One doesn't need faith. The experiments establishing evolution are well known and can be reproduced by you.

      • by Sabriel (134364)

        The long-winded video you link to, takes a bunch of people who aren't specialised in evolutionary biology, trips them up, and then uses this as a basis to assert that creationism is real. The remainder of the video uses similar pseudo-logic, ending with an advertising pitch. Pfffft.

        Look, just because you demonstrate that a certain bunch of city folk don't understand how to run a dairy farm, doesn't mean cows don't exist, and it certainly doesn't mean I'm going to believe you know how to run a cattle ranch,

  • I haven't seen a good argument that flowers and pollen are closely related. It could be argued that flowers were an adaptation to flying pollen collectors, as crawling pollen-collecting insects don't need visual assistance to find the pollen end of a plant.

    Pheromone-like advertisement techniques are probably better (more economical) for crawlers being that most crawling insects don't have good distant vision. However, flying insects are moving too quickly to use chemical signals effectively such that bright

    • I haven't seen a good argument that flowers and pollen are closely related. It could be argued that flowers were an adaptation to flying pollen collectors, as crawling pollen-collecting insects don't need visual assistance to find the pollen end of a plant.

      TFA (actually, TFAbstract) says "Angiosperm-like pollen," and "angiosperm" is a term for "flowering plant." I don't think they're implying that flowers and pollen are the same thing, but that they infer the presence of flowering plants from the discovery of pollen that resembles the pollen of other flowering plants.

      • by Tablizer (95088)

        I'm just saying that the evolution of pollen and the evolution of flowers themselves (with petals etc.) may not be closely aligned. As others pointed out, non-flowering families of plants also have pollen. The similarity of the new fossils to pollen of known flowering plants could be simply due to being from the same genetic stock or some unknown environmental adaptation shaping factor.

        • by kermidge (2221646)

          Or it could be that flowers are an efficient way to make pollen and produce pheromones.

          I seem to recall reading way back that there was some evidence to suggest that early flowers were insipid by current standards and that they became more colorful with the rise of winged whoosits. Also, now I think of it, pheromones waft nicely on air currents. Doesn't hurt to have several navaids, coarse to fine.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Pollen has been around much longer than flowering plants (angiosperms). It's found in gymnosperms like conifers (pine, spruce, bald cypress), cycads ("sego palms"), and other non-flowering groups. This particular type of pollen, however, has a wall structure known as a "tectate" or "columellate" wall, where you've got an inner wall layer and a porous ("reticulate") outer wall layer connected by narrow supports in between them. That type of pollen structure is only known from angiosperms, whether modern o

  • The found pollen (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cusco (717999) <brian...bixby@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday October 02, 2013 @01:06PM (#45015847)

    What they found was pollen, of a type normally found later in the fossil record. That they found a variety of different forms of pollen suggests that angiosperms had been around long enough to have diversified already, so this is probably not the last that we'll hear about this.

  • Here we report on angiosperm-like pollen and Afropollis from the Anisian (Middle Triassic, 247.2–242.0 Ma) of a mid-latitudinal site in Northern Switzerland. Small monosulcate pollen grains with typical reticulate (semitectate) sculpture, columellate structure of the sexine and thin nexine show close similarities to early angiosperm pollen known from the Early Cretaceous.

    I think this sprained my brain.

  • There go parts of the Time Spike plot, I guess.
  • by jfdavis668 (1414919) on Wednesday October 02, 2013 @02:33PM (#45017163)
    One day, we were on the lawn, where a maple tree and a white pine tree grow. I asked the students which were more closely related: The maple and the pine tree, or the maple and the grass? I could not convince most of them that the 2 flowing plants were more closely related. Most insisted that being trees, they were closely related. No wonder we have trouble teaching kids science.
    • No wonder we have trouble teaching kids science.

      Sounds like you taught them just fine...learning on the other hand might be the problem.

    • by Guppy (12314)

      One day, we were on the lawn, where a maple tree and a white pine tree grow. I asked the students which were more closely related: The maple and the pine tree, or the maple and the grass? I could not convince most of them that the 2 flowing plants were more closely related. Most insisted that being trees, they were closely related.

      How old were these children? You asked quite a difficult question that requires some fairly advanced formal logical and systematization skills. From a developmental perspective, a textbook answer would say these skills begin appearing around age 11 -- but practically these skills aren't really mature and generalize-able until around age 13~17.

      Even being a Biology major, I still got the answer to your question wrong (I mentally blanked out the provided solution and tried to figure it out independently with

      • They were 8th graders.
        • by olau (314197)

          It is a pretty amazing fact. Definitely one you could spend a lot of interesting biology study time on.

      • I ended up clumping the Pine and Maple into a polyphyletic grouping as C3-photosynthesizing plants, with the grasses as C4-photosynthesizers.

        That happens to be a single trait that emerged in the DAG of life something like forty times or so, isn't it? In other words, it probably isn't the best criterion to judge the evolutionary proximity of these plant species.

        • by Guppy (12314)

          That happens to be a single trait that emerged in the DAG of life something like forty times or so, isn't it? In other words, it probably isn't the best criterion to judge the evolutionary proximity of these plant species.

          Right, but I didn't realize it at the time that it was not such a fundamental trait. I just pulled up what knowledge I had about those plants from what I already knew (hence the result of me making a polyphyletic grouping).

    • by dwye (1127395)

      Prove that you are right to them, or it is just your religious dogma. Maybe the "flowering plant" trait reoccurred, like stripes in the two types of horse that we call zebras which are more closely related to Equus equus than to each other (or at least, so I am claiming without citing supporting evidence)?

      Biology isn't just a collection of meaningless facts, or Linneaus' original prejudices, after all.

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