why do we die?

R M Bernstein ralph at ccit.arizona.edu
Mon Nov 13 13:53:20 EST 1995


In Article <487bkn$pfs at ixnews6.ix.netcom.com>, JEThomas at ix.netcom.com (Jonah
Thomas) wrote:
>>The organism that really puzzles me in this context is the century plant
>>(which I was lucky enough to see flowering once in Berkeley,
>>California).  It lives longer than I'm likely to, and flowers *once* at
>>the end of its lifespan.  As far as I know it doesn't propagate
>>vegetatively, either.  What conditions make this a reasonable life
>>history?


i think that this is what we call agave s (sp?).  apparently they do live a
long time, we have alot of them out here in tucson.  i am not so sure they
only flower at the end of their life span though.  the conditions are
probably the environmental conditions we are subjected to out here in the
sonoran desert: low rain fall and many days of +110 degrees in a row, plus
super dry.  hell, its 80 or so here today, and its novembre! 
(teleologically) it may be storing up its reserves until it can "afford" to
reproduce?

regards, ralph


Ralph M. Bernstein
Dept of Micro/Immuno
University of Arizona
Ph: 602 626 2585
Fx: 602 626 2100
url: http://lamprey.medmicro.arizona.edu
     http://radon.gas.uug.arizona.edu/~bernster



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