biology zoology blog benno meyer rochow plants nervous system

Action Potentials and Conduction Velocities

A nervous system in plants?

During the time I worked for the educational TV channel “NDR Das Dritte” and produced a film on carnivorous plants with the title “Pflanzen, die von Tieren leben” (Plants that live off animals), I was of course aware of Charles Darwin’s inspiring and careful studies, published in 1875, on what was then called “insectivorous plants”. I also knew of the experiments by one of the scientific giants of India, namely Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, who in 1926 had unequivocally shown that plants not only generate action potentials similar to those known from the nervous systems of animals, but that these plants transmitted the electrical impulse over considerable distances via their vascular bundles (of which as we now know, the phloem plays the part of a “nerve”). However, a great deal more information especially on how those sensitive plant species like the Venus flytrap Dionaea muscipula, sundews of the genus Drosera, or Mimosa spp., etc. react physiologically to mechanical or thermal stimulation is now available than it was at the time when I produced my film. —>—>

biology zoology blog benno meyer rochow horse painting

Who Depicted Walking Horses More Accurately: prehistoric or modern artists ?

I’m not at all a great rider and have tried to avoid sitting in the saddle as much as possible. Why? because I’m a little scared of horses for I was once bitten in the face by a horse when I was a child (yes “bitten”, not kicked: horses can and do bite sometimes). However, that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate paintings or photographs of horses and in fact, both of my daughters in Finland were members of a riding club. —>—>