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Plants can hear you eat them! Almost.

Discussion in 'Bizarre and Off-Beat News' started by zwiebel, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. zwiebel

    zwiebel New Member

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    First you take your caterpillar, then you record the 'seemingly inaudible vibrational sounds of it chewing an Arabidopsis thaliana leaf, then use 'piezoelectric actuators' to play that sound back, along with the sound of silence......

    This is scientific news, as you can guess. But the barest bones of the story are that this (and other) plants can 'hear' a caterpillar munching away on their leaves, and respond by launching a chemical 'weapon' of defence, to cause the offending bug to - well, bug off.

    The scientists who've done the research are quite pleased with themselves, as their field of research has been the subject of lots snickering laughter ever since researchers tried to prove the 'plants can hear' theory by playing music to them, to see if they respond:

    “The field is somewhat haunted by its history of playing music to plants. That sort of stimulus is so divorced from the natural ecology of plants that it’s very difficult to interpret any plant responses,” says Rex Cocroft from the University of Missouri, Columbia.'

    I'm entirely conflicted by this news; dreading the day scientists announce plants can feel pain, and this veggie gets reduced to sucking stones for breakfast, lunch and dinner......

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