Sensitive Plant/cows

Fri Feb 18 13:05:43 EST 1994

In article <761498578snz at>
ohgs at (Oliver Sparrow) writes:
>Any roadside in India and the Himalaya will yield M. pudica bushes
>in prickly abundance. A glance shows why it does what it does: as
>a feathery light green bush, it is irresistable to cattle. At the
>first nibble, however, the entire thing collapses into a boring
>bundle of twigs and the cow browses off.
This is the only explanation I've heard for the Mimosa "behaviour".  It would
suggest that the herbivore(s) under which the closing adaptation evolved (not
necessarily cows?) browse on the basis of visual stimuli, rather than, say,
how the plant feels to the mouth.  Is there any evidence for this?  Does
anybody have an alternative explanation for the Mimosa adaptation?
Frank van de Loo.

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