Evolution: corn plant pest adaptation (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Saturday, August 18, 2018, 15:04 (720 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

David: Comment: This is an amazing adaptation the larvae worked out.

Tony: I am not so sure this is an 'adaptation'. If you consider that the root worm was programmed this way initially, but that corn was not really grown the way that we grow it today (in huge....huge..unbelievably huge) farms, then the most likely scenario is that this pre-existing trait is pestulant because the amount of iron released from the corn (and subsequently replenished by farmers through fertilizer) has led to a population control problem.

Why would we find it surprising that animals are programmed for certain nutrient needs, and the methods of obtaining/tracking them? No one thinks it odd that mammals smell.

David: Ah, programming! All organisms need trace metals. Our hemoglobin with iron comes to mind. A nd the needs should be common.

Tony: There should also be common ways to find/detect those nutrients, as well as signalling paths that let us know we are deficient(thus triggering cravings)

David: As for humans with iron-deficiency anemia they know they have lost energy, but they need a doctor to tell them to take iron. Less complex organisms must have recognition programs or they might not survive.

Tony: then why do so many anemics crunch ice, or sensitivity to cooler temperatures? Not conciously recognizing the signals is not evidence of abscence.

David: Never heard of ice crunching, but thin blood makes it harder to keep warm.

Tony: Pica

Craving and chewing ice (pagophagia) is often associated with iron deficiency, with or without anemia, although the reason is unclear. At least one study indicates that ice chewing might increase alertness in people with iron deficiency anemia.

Learning all the time. Great trivia.

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