Have you been a victim of Epizoochory?

Discussion in 'Flower Gardening' started by Jerry Sullivan, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. Jerry Sullivan

    Jerry Sullivan Garden Experimenter Plants Contributor

    Nov 10, 2010
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    Chelmsford MA
    You may soon be a victim of Epizoochory :eek: if you haven’t already.

    It is a common affliction among gardeners, it had its beginnings a long time ago……
    During the late Cretaceous period, 67 million years ago, there was a really, really bad day. Then if that day wasn’t bad enough, it got worse. Adjectives fail at this point as millions, dare say billions or trillions, died. Lending to the period the name, ‘The great dying’. The bright spot in this mass extinction event was that mammals moved to the top of the food chain. They were no longer snack food for the dinosaurs. As time passed the fir bearing mammals increased in both size and number. All this did not go unnoticed by the flowers who at this point had relied on several methods to get the kids out of the house, wind, water, the toes of dinosaurs and a process called dehiscence. You remember dehiscence don’t you? o_OHmmmm…. Anyway, the flowers came up with an evolutionary idea and epizoochory was born. If you haven’t looked it up in our glossary it is the distribution of seeds by transportation. The flowers have refined this idea over the intervening millions of years. Today YOU could be an unwitting victim and as you make your way about the garden, contributing to the dispersal of seeds by epizoochory. While you lack the fur most animals have, our clothing makes an ideal transport media for a plant with burs. I have plants with burs in my yard and I’m sure in your travels you have encountered those pesky little travelers on your clothes too. And what do you do with them? You pick them off and throw them away!! Just what the plant wants. The only thing missing is a thank you card from the plant. :) We as humans have also created another method of epizoochory the plants were not aware of……….. Each year millions of seeds ride around in envelopes to places their parents never dreamed of compliments of our local postal system. Gardeners world wide spread the flowers in their gardens. Wait till the flowers find out!! Maybe there will be little post boxes in your garden.

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  3. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

    Aug 23, 2010
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    Central Texas, zone 8
    Ah, yes, epizoochory. When we lived in town and were involved in several gardening/providing for nature/tree hugging activities, we got dragged into a lecture by a bearded man who really needed a shower. Never sit in the front row of one of these things!
    He started out in a monotone telling us about how "the woolly mammoth crossed the land bridge with seeds in its fur." I was wondering what seeds and other things were in his beard.
    One of our fellow tree-huggers got a grant to spread the good news about native plants, providing for wildlife, etc. and we were invited to a lecture that fulfilled part of the grant requirement. We walked in and saw woolly mammoth man, but there were people behind us and I didn't feel it was in keeping with the touchy-feely event to rudely shove them aside and run for my life. But, having learned from experience, we sat as far from the podium as possible. It also made it possible for us to get out of there as quickly as possible as soon as the droning on stopped.
    I'm very grateful to the postal service for distributing seeds without offending either the olfactory or auditory senses.

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