As I was peeling a carrot today it occurred to me, “How do carrots get their shape – thick at the top and then tapering off?” Does anyone know how carrots get their shape?
Archive for the ‘Plant’ Category
Every time that an animal eats a plant or another animal, the conversion of food biomass into the consumer’s biomass involves an efficiency of much less than 100%: typically about 10%. That is, it takes around 10,000 pounds of corn to grow a 1,000 pound cow. If instead you want to grow 1,000 pound of carnivore, you have to feed it 10,000 pounds of herbivore grown on 100,000 pounds of corn.
— Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
“There is really nothing else so odd about life as its variety. Consider the grasses of a pasture. A dozen kinds of grass and other plants will live all mixed up together in an old pasture. I once found five or six kinds of grass in a square yard or so of one of the manicured lawns of Cambridge. But why should there be so many kinds of grass in a pasture or lawn? Why is there not one perfect kind of pasture plant, ideally suited to the circumstance of pasture life, perfectly efficient at getting a living in that grazed or mowed-down space?”
“Animals live in a pasture too, and in even greater array than the plants, particularly the insects, which are present in dozens of oddly different shapes. Why so many? Why not one perfect grass-processing, pasture insect, together perhaps with its perfectly adapted predator?”
— Why Big Fierce Animals Are Rare by Paul Colinvaux