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By ChefDean
Posts:  9493
Joined:  Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:44 am
Hmmm, not real sure of the credibility of this. On the surface, it's in scientific format, and published by a scientific journal, but there are questions in my mind.
First, numerous misspellings. Not a big red flag but, if you're being published, you'll want to make sure you're talking about plants, not pants.
Next, the only place this journal is published is online. Not crazy in today's world, but very unusual for a scientific journal. Eggheads are sticklers for hard copies.
Talking about insects bodies not being digested. Well, duh. Insect carapaces are made of chitin, which is a polysaccharide compound similar to cellulose. Cellulose is plant based, and it's similar enough to chitin that the plant wouldn't have evolved to digest it or it would likely digest itself before any benefit could be derived from the bug. Meat does not have chitin, so would be able to be almost completely consumed. Also, it is higher in nitrogen, iron, phosphorus, and other nutrients than bugs, so they'll get a bigger boost, and grow bigger in an attempt to catch more meat. The reason meat is not recommended is more to a very much higher likelihood of bacteria and mold, not that it is ineffective. Plus, he didn't say how many traps were fed. Only a single trap per plant? As many as had bugs in the control group? Every open trap?
The bigger flowers are more likely death blooms after the abuse of drying out. The meat group didn't allocate energy to rhizome production, while the bug group did what it had evolved to do, slow, steady, and bulk the rhizome in preparation for dormancy and long term survival. Plus, it appears to me that the meat group is definitely more wet. Coincidence for pics?
Last, only using a single reference? Although it's a report of an experiment he did himself, three to five supporting references are standard.
Seems like a good article, but there are enough red flags, some I didn't mention, all small, but add up to enough to raise some questions. Granted, I didn't look too hard, but I couldn't find any follow up data for the following season.
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By andynorth
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Joined:  Fri May 12, 2023 9:08 pm
I might try his experiment myself given I have the time. I find it quite interesting regardless. Could Flytraps have "de evolved" to a smaller life form from back in the dinosaur days? It certainly would not be unheard of. It takes me back to the old show on TV in the 70's, Land Of The Lost. Imagine being stuck in a time where plants can attack humans due to their "survival" instinct. I smell a fiction book/movie in the making. Little Shop of Horrors has nothing on these guys!!!!
Last edited by andynorth on Mon Jan 08, 2024 2:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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By MikeB
Posts:  1938
Joined:  Sat Apr 25, 2020 4:13 pm
I read this article and also have issues with its lack of scientific rigor. And then there was this in the summary:

Could this plant have evolved on another planet with tiny red meat based prey and the seeds of the Venus’s flytrap arrived here via a meteorite?
Seriously? What little credibility he had just went right out the window.... :roll:
Last edited by MikeB on Mon Jan 08, 2024 1:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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By ChefDean
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Joined:  Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:44 am
Many people have posed this question, or one similar. Although this member may or may not be a bot, he has not exhibited behavior that goes against the rules of the forum. Trust me, the Admins are watching posts/members that seem hinky, but sometimes it's simply someone who thinks on a different frequency.
If you have a concern about someone, rather than make public suppositions of their veracity, shoot me a PM so I can look a little deeper at them.
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By Bluefire
Posts:  665
Joined:  Thu Jun 30, 2022 4:58 pm
The arguments this paper makes don't seem well researched, to give it pure meat vs. whole insects is a false equivalency. If you removed the chitin, I bet the insects would have been just as thoroughly eaten. A better test could be including bone bits, fat, & keratin (like claws and fur) that actual animals have. I can guarantee some of that will either kill the trap quicker or get left behind.

Leaves dying in midwinter? My man, that's dormancy. The meat fed plants had SUMMER LEAVES in WINTER.

And were the meat fed plants prevented from catching bugs? Or did they also catch bugs and therefore got fed, as an analogy, dog food and copious treats?

The plant taking longer to digest red meat? Maybe, I don't know, it's not adapted to efficiently break it down?

Also, the guy's degrees aren't focused around plants, evolution, or anything closely related. Only "science" and mechanical engineering. And most scientific papers that are credible are written by people who study what they write.
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By Fishkeeper
Posts:  826
Joined:  Sat Dec 03, 2016 10:59 pm
My goodness. Someone read the hypothesis that microscopic life could theoretically have been frozen in an icy comet and arrived on Earth that way (which isn't as ridiculous as it sounds- some microorganisms have been shown to survive similar conditions) and extrapolated into something absurd. Doesn't that seem like the sort of thing that might have been noticed by science, if Venus flytraps were the only organism on Earth to not use DNA like everything else, as would likely be the case in an organism sprouting from entirely alien origins?

It would be interesting to see this actually done properly. I wouldn't expect red meat to be better for them, but it would be neat to test what happens if you feed a flytrap only vertebrate-based meat. Very large ones do occasionally catch lizards, after all. It wouldn't even be particularly difficult to test on a small scale- either acquire yourself a couple dozen dormant flytraps and start feeding them the test diets in spring, or, if you don't mind dedicating the time, grow them from seed and try to have plants that have only ever been fed vertebrate meat.
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By Intheswamp
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Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
Ok, I’ll throw my baseball cap into the ring…

Years ago I was really interested in the native indians/people/whatever that lived in this area many years ago. Over the years as a kid I managed to acquire a small collection of artifacts. Seems there was eccentric woman that lived in town in her family’s monstrous old house who had a “PhD”. Seems for her to get the Dr added in front of her name she wrote a book for her thesis(?). Anyhow, I had bought one of her books…lots of photos (made a young arrowhead hunter drool!) and *some* text. Anyhow I called her one day and asked if I could bring part of my collection by for her to look at and maybe get her to autograph the book. She said “come on”.

I showed up expecting to meet a knowledgeable person who had a keen interest in the subject at hand. What I found was somebody who really didn’t know as much as I did. My artifacts were precious to me for what they were and for the hours and miles that I had walked seeking them. She signed my book, like she was a queen signing some kind of world changing proclamation. Then she started carelessly riffling through my fragile artifacts. I was a bit concerned when she picked up two pieces and with a look of being the superior person in the room struck the pieces against each other saying something about “This is how they did it”. I quickly took the pieces from, put them back in their box, told her “thank you” and I left.

A lot of “papers” are written for doctoral theses by people who dig data from here and there but don’t have a clue personally about what they’re writing about. I’ve got more sense and intelligence than lots of the folks that have “PhD” at the end of their names. And I ain’t the sharpest blade in the drawer so that isn’t saying much for those “doctors”. :mrgreen:

And that’s my thesis on theses, papers, and “doctors”…and a nutty old witch. I’ll be nice and not go into the use of “AI”. :mrgreen:
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By Emjef
Posts:  6
Joined:  Wed May 08, 2024 8:52 am
This is a good example of a “predatory” journal- which are journals that look scientific, but in reality do not do peer review ( this is where independent scientists review each paper and determine if it is legit). For predatory journals, if you have the cash, they will publish it, and , as was noticed, they’re not too concerned about editing. I would not take this seriously at all.
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By Intheswamp
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Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
I'm not taking it seriously until they start feeding morsels of politicians' flesh to the flytraps.
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By Panman
Posts:  6506
Joined:  Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:41 pm
Intheswamp wrote: Fri May 10, 2024 12:56 pm I'm not taking it seriously until they start feeding morsels of politicians' flesh to the flytraps.
This is a proposition that I can support.
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By evenwind
Posts:  2202
Joined:  Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:16 pm
Nah, that'll kill your plants. Politicians are full of venom.
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By Intheswamp
Posts:  3488
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
evenwind wrote: Fri May 10, 2024 2:53 pm Nah, that'll kill your plants. Politicians are full of venom.
I agree and disagree with you. The politicians would probably kill the plants, alright, but it would be from too much nitrogen, rather than venom. They're just too full of B.S....(or chicken S.). ;)
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