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The Artful Amoeba

Are Cycads Social Plants?


Botanists have long puzzled over a peculiarity of ancient plants called cycads: they have huge, bright, fleshy seeds displayed in enormous cones. Yet there’s nothing correspondingly ginormous to eat and — I’ll use the polite term here — disperse them. And if their presumed former big dispersers (perhaps super-sized ice age mammals, marsupials, birds — [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

The Surprising Lives of Cycads


If you had to guess which organism possesses sperm with 40,000 tails, what would you guess? Elephant? Whale? Chuck Norris? Would you have guessed that it belongs to a plant? This is the sperm of Zamia roezlii. It has a flapper dress-like fringe of tens of thousands of flagella to turbo-charge its way to eggs.* [...]

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