A Dangerous Tree That Sends Out An Alarm

In Africa, there are plants of all forms and sizes, and it has some amazing trees also. They form part of the stunning photographs you find coming out of trips to Africa into the bush at any time of the year. But that beautiful Acacia tree is actually a dangerous killer. Yes, this tree is not actually a harmless plant, when they are being threatened by too many herbivores then they fight back.

cdn.britannica.com

Capable of the killing of whole herds of antelopes and even warning other Acacia trees that dangerous is close and it is time to watch out. Giraffes have figured this out years ago, they nibble on Acacia trees and then move away upwind, and nibble on another. Never eating too much from one tree, even when there are many leaves left.

And it is a good thing that the giraffes did figure this out because they were not wrong: acacia trees have a lethal weapon. They can raise the level of tannin-c in their leaves when being eaten. It only takes an animal to start eating them eagerly and within 15 minutes the tree will have shoot up its tannin-c levels to lethal doses. Doses so high that antelopes cannot break it down in their stomach and end up perishing due to eating indigestible leaves.

This is how the acacia tree survives and makes sure they are never completely eaten. But it does not stop there, when one tree decides to defend itself then it lets others know! They release a molecule called ethylene into the air and this floats downwind to other trees. The whole forest then starts other producing tannin-c even if they had not been eaten yet.

One thing is sure when acacias are overeaten, this is a deadly consequence on the local antelope population. A true picture of mother nature and our eco-system: survival of the fittest.

Next Article
ADVERTISEMENT
  • Every Panda In The World Is Owned By China

    No matter where the panda is or in what realm of the world he is wandering, one thing they all have in common is they are actually all owned by the Chinese government. And they make quite a hefty sum of money from leasing them out every year. The panda...

    Read More
  • Switzerland Has Accidentally Invaded Liechtenstein Three Times

    You may not have heard of the small country of Lichtenstein, a tiny country in central Europe which is landlocked by Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. It is a microstate, and still has a constitutional monarchy with the Prince of Liechtenstein at the top. But that didn’t stop Switzerland accidentally invading...

    Read More
  • Prehistoric Frogs Show Us Life From 99 Million Years Ago

    Scientist and archeologists together have been able to shine a light into a lost world, finding frogs trapped in a sticky amber resin from over 99 million years ago. These frogs have been preserved in the resin and have most likely been there since the end of the Age of the Dinosaurs. [caption id="attachment_4700" align="aligncenter"...

    Read More
  • Walking Through A Door Can Cause A Loss In Memory

    It has happened to all of us, we think we know what we are looking for and suddenly you do not. As you enter the next room, you are left wondering why on earth did you walk through the door? You run upstairs to grab your phone before going out, and then when you get...

    Read More
  • When One Team Was Defending Both Nets

    When it comes to strange football matches there have been many, some point to the 31 goals Australia put passed American Samoa or the infamous AS Adema 149-0 win over SO l’Emyrne. But actually, the strangest match of football was between Barbados and Grenada during the 1994 Shell Caribbean Cup. ...

    Read More
  • Ball Lightning The Mysterious Glowing Phenomenon

    For years ball lightning has stumped scientists and caused panic all around the world. Many times it has been mistaken for UFOs and caused confusion, even causing damage to homes. And for many centuries it was a mystery, it made no sense when confronted with the norms of science. Was it something supernatural? [caption id="attachment_4691"...

    Read More
  • The Infamous Uranium Thief

    Whenever people debate about nuclear power plants, one thing comes up as a heated subject: nuclear materials are dangerous and having them in the area could mean they fall into the wrong hands. Well, that is exactly what happened in a power plant in North Carolina during the 70s, when two whole drums of enriched...

    Read More
  • Marine Snails Have The Strongest Teeth In The World

    When it comes to strong natural materials, you may think of diamonds or gold. Maybe if you are a scientist then you may think of the amazing spider silk from their webs, but you would all still be wrong. In fact, the answer may come as a big surprise: marine snail teeth are the strongest...

    Read More