RE: NANFA-L-- Michigan Chapter

Bruce Stallsmith (
Tue, 15 Feb 2005 14:40:36 -0500

Plants are necessarily the best comparison. Birds have little or no sense of
taste, for instance, so the various peppers are hot to deter other
herbivores, while birds eating the fruits benefits the pepper because birds
can spread the seeds by pooping. Madtoms may benefit even a little from
being able to inject a noxious substance into a predator, which could work
for a positive selection force on the venom. Or was the venom more effective
against a predator in earlier times who no longer exists, and the venom is
now vestigial? Just a thought, you never know.

--Bruce Stallsmith
the springlike Tennessee Valley
Huntsville, AL, US of A

>Subject: RE: NANFA-L-- Michigan Chapter
>Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2005 12:30:59 -0700
>Don't forget also, that predators develop defenses against their prey's
>defenses. In other words, they can evolve to be list effected by venom, or
>method of injection. Certainly individuals-in-any given time are going to
>more effected than others -- we can see this even in human beings. I love
>peppers, and make a plate of chili that makes my S. O. want to leave the
>(we'll pretend it's the CHILI that does that). Yet, I have a friend who
>its "Not bad, a little weak."
>Fish are the same way -- one bass grabs a madtom and it's like a platefull
>hot peppers. Another grabs one, thinks, "SPICY!" and heads off in search
>another. :)

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