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Showing posts with the label Can Plants hear? Heidi Appel

Can you hear a caterpillar munching on leaves? Well, plants can!

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Image source: Wikimedia How often have we seen a caterpillar silently eat away an entire leaf of a plant to feed its hungry stomach. What if we told you that every time you thought the plant was helpless against the over-eating caterpillar, you were wrong? A recently published study in the journal Oecologia  tells us that plants can actually hear the tiny vibrations that the caterpillar emits whilst feeding and prepare themselves for a similar event if it occurs in the future. Sounds interesting? Read on!!!  We have all heard of tales where listening to soothing music (acoustic energy or sound) has helped plants grow. But researchers, Heidi Appel and Reginald Cocroft at the University of Missouri, set out to investigate how plants responded to sounds that were relevant to their survival. To test this, the researchers allowed caterpillars to feed on Arabidopsis plant, while they recorded the vibrations of the leaf during the process of feeding with the help of a laser.