And now, a tip of the hat to a nifty solution to the oldest design problem of them all: how do you spread your genes?
I was taking a shortcut through an overgrown field and ended up with a load of seeds stuck to my socks and shoelaces. When I sat down to pluck them out, I found there were two models: the smaller (some 5 mm long) “fuzzy” seeds (right in the photo) actually had many tiny thorns that did the job; but the larger seeds (up to 9 mm in length) were really impressive, each sporting long, needle-sharp spines all over. I wish I had a good stereo microscope to give you better detail, but you can get the idea from the photos below.
So what? So nothing, I guess, except that being an engineer I had to stop and admire the effectiveness of these designs.
And here is another look:
Makes you feel kinda special, to think that these plants would go to all this trouble to evolve seeds that stick like leeches to your socks! 🙂