Re: NANFA-- OFF TOPIC - Speaking of symbiotic relationships RE;

Bruce Stallsmith (
Fri, 30 Aug 2002 15:01:29 -0400

Thorns usually seem to work as pure defense against grazing animals. In most
plants, the thorn is actually a modified leaf. This evolutionary stategy
goes furthest in the various cacti; no leaves, all photosynthetic pigments
in the smooth bole of the cactus, and less water loss through exposed
surface. But Texas is certainly a hard place for thorns!

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL, US of A

>From: John Bongiovanni <>
>Subject: Re: NANFA-- OFF TOPIC - Speaking of symbiotic relationships RE;
>Moth pollinators
>Date: Fri, 30 Aug 2002 13:39:25 -0500
>While we have diverged onto plants... I was wondering what the
>evolutionalry advantge would be to thorns other than snagging the seine as
>I pass by? South Texas is overrun by thorny bushes, trees, grasses.
>Everything has a thorn it seems. Its also interesting that the thorns are
>forthe most part restricted to semiarid biomes. Farther North of course
>blackberry bushes and the like, are present but thorny plants are not as
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