Friday, April 26, 2013

Hibiscus schizopetalus

It's been a while since I've linked to the Botany Photo of the Day even though I read it all the time.

Check it out. What is that dangling thing coming out of the flower? Does it have a function?


9 comments :

  1. Those are the most important parts of the flower, its male and female parts. Tthe stamens are united and form a tight tube around the pistil in this and many other Malvaceae, though this arrangement is unusual in most other families.
    Lou Jost

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  2. Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of dangling things.

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    1. Correct. And the rule of thumb is "if it dangling prominently, chances are very good that it was selected for"

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    2. Sort of like all that extra DNA dangling in our genome?

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    3. Sort of like all that extra DNA dangling in our genome?

      Of course not. I only meant dangling in a very literal sense.

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    4. "...dangling in a very literal sense."

      You mean like wattles ?

      http://www.dairygoatjournal.com/issues/86/86-5/what_are_wattles.html

      "It doesn't matter what doe is bred to what buck, it's totally random. I've watched the breedings and the wattles and it doesn't make any difference who it is, they all seem to have a 50/50 chance or less of being born with wattles."


      Oh dear, do I smell the end of the Darwinian paradigm ?

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  3. Does it have a function?

    Surely not - to think so would be adaptationist, right?

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    1. Nope. There's nothing wrong with adaptations. They're an important part of biology.

      The adaptationist program is something entirely different. An adaptationist is someone who (mostly) doesn't even consider an alternative explanation.

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    2. This was meant to be a joke.

      (Although you do appear to reject adaptationist explanations in cases where it seems very odd to assume drift. Surely, for example, in the case of bird with the colorful belly from a few months ago the logical assumption would be that the belly would have a subdued color if it had no function?)

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