Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Girl Cycad

Many of us may not know that plants also have sex. Sorry, I meant gender: male and female. It's called dioecious, a term describing a plant that has only one reproductive organ, either a male flower or a female flower. This means that dioecious plants need a partner plant with the opposite gamete producing flower in order to bear fruit. Dioecious is derived from the Greek di, meaning twice; and oikos, meaning house. The term then literally means two houses, which means that these types of plants need two vessels (plants) of the opposite genders planted in close proximity to each other in order to ensure proper fertilization. The product of fertilization is a fruit which will bear the seed/s, which will in turn produce another plant given the right conditions.

Now meet girl Cycas micronesica, with child. You have seen her male counterpart before (responsible for a mysterious neurological disease that affected residents of Guam,) and that photo was taken at this same area where you can see this girl cycad surrounded by guy cycads all eager to participate. It is no wonder that she now bears these seeds.

This is a wonderful event and do you know why? Cycads are prehistoric plants that existed during the mesozoic era, which is about 250 to about 65 million years ago. It is often referred to as the Age of Reptiles because reptiles, namely dinosaurs, were the dominant terrestrial and marine vertebrates of the time. Cycads have survived that long and now they are facing extinction. These cycads are here to be given a chance for its species to be preserved.
Avoiding Extinction

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