Re: Kassi oral anatomy (was Re: Kassi Kiss (...))
|From:||Barry Garcia <barry_garcia@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, December 5, 2001, 2:41|
>That would get us a world where the continents are green with fast
>growing annuals and biennuals, consumed by the late summer fires and
>by hordes of beetles that grow from buried grubs in spring to reach
>two feet or more --- and a littoral and ripine civilization of gilled
>merpeople with a strong taboo about fires: no metal work. All for the
>price of 20 hPa of oxygen.
Of course, that scenario would also eliminate very large trees, or at
least very large trees that live for long periods ;) .
Or perhaps, woody plants could evolve very thick tannin rich bark (or some
other fire retardant chemical), much like the redwoods of California have.
They survive forest fires because their bark can be quite thick, sometimes
a foot in places (fire is a common occurance in these forests). Naturally
that applies to trees of great size.
I believe i've heard that the Giant sequoias can have bark up to three
feet thick. Although, if a fire does reach heartwood, it sometimes hollows
the tree out, leaving just the cambial layer and the bark . They also are
the fastest growing conifers in north America, growing at the rate of up
to several feet a year.
Here's a scenario i think would work:
Any large plants would be found in swampy areas (drier areas resembling
prairie, or brushland), and any fires that do sweep through burn off the
tops of any plants of significant size. Resprouting occurs deep within the
soil, perhaps from deep set "lignotubers" (this mechanism is utilized by
plants of the Chapparal areas of California (an area which has evolved
with fire and actually needs it to sprout the seeds of certain plants)).
Lignotubers are woody swellings underground that resprout after a fire
burns the top portions off).
Bigger plants have evovled where development of the lignotuber occurs
after the plant's primary root has pulled it several feet
underground/under water. Growth is very fast, most plants growing several
feet in a season (or constantly maybe). They also have high water/fire
retardant chemical content to prevent too much damage from fire, and
regenerate from the submerged lignotuber. That would probably also
eliminate wood working, and plants would probably be prone to damage from
Just some ideas :)