1. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Carboniferous Plants and Today.

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Okon, Nov 6, 2014.

    I know nothing of botany, so here goes:

    If I planted the seed of a Carboniferous-era plant today, would it grow?

    Also, if Carboniferous vegetation simply appeared on my front lawn for no reason, how would it fare? Would it die instantly due to the difference of atmosphere, or just be not-so-healthy?
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    This page might help.
     
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  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I doubt that a seed from the Devonian or Permian era would germinate. Any traces would be fossilized or become some form of petroleum or shale or coal, etc. Dead.
     
  4. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I checked over the link @thirdwind, but the only info I can't find is that the climate wasn't seasonal, and it was more humid. I'll keeping looking, though.

    @Wreybies: Let's say I had a fresh seed.
     
  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    It would probably grow. Ginkgo trees have clearly related relatives going back 250 million years. They're a living fossil species and they grow. A true Devonian or Permian era plant might be fragile though, not having evolved along with all the things that try to infect and do damage to plants up to the present day.
     
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  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If it passed down through the ages in the usual manner, yes, it would be unviable. However, if it was preserved in a cold enough environment or a stasis field that freezes time, or if it dropped through a wormhole, there's the possibility that it could sprout.

    No idea how it would fare in today's ecosystem if it could sprout.
     
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  7. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I just remembered something from an audio book about the history of coal. Apparently, long ago, when people realised coal was some form of vegetation, they tried to plant the stuff and "grow" more!

    So I think it's safe to say that "spawned" plants would wilt pretty quickly, unless maybe created in a rain-forest region (which is probably not the best way to describe my Canadian front lawn:whistle:). I'll just imagine they die in a day, then commence rotting.
     
  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Even in the rain forests of today, it would germinate, but it might not be able to compete and grow to maturity. Plants are spectacular chemists, but so are the things that infect them and eat them. The rain forest of today has a few million years more of chemistry experience than that poor little seed. :( It would need to be grown under well controlled conditions, I think.
     
  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Or.... and just to play devil's advocate, it could be rockin' some really old-school juice that everything else evolved away from over time. Just because everyone is looking at rail guns and other armament today, this doesn't mean a good old nuclear explosion won't still do the trick, especially if everyone has stopped worrying about that kind of thing because, seriously, nuclear bombs are so Reagan/Gorbachev. ;)
     
  10. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    32,000 yr old plant seeds regenerated. I realize that isn't millions of years old. But what we have learned from growing chickens with teeth and scales, the genetics of organisms we evolved from are sometimes still there, just turned off.

    As for which would survive, the new or the old, that's a crap shoot. Invasive species often overwhelm ecosystems. Species that cannot survive in the new environment don't, so we mostly see the successful invaders that find themselves without predators.

    While the website in @thirdwind's link says the climate was widespread, there are many places on the planet today that have similar climates.
     
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  11. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    The biggest issue that plant would have to deal with is fungi. Spores have come a long way in the last 300 million years, and it's quite likely that the plant wouldn't have any defenses.
     
  12. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Yes but those developed fungi are adapted to the world they exist in. Pathogens target specific cell wall proteins, so pathogenic fungi, (as opposed to fungi competing within the biosphere), may not be adapted at all to the target cell walls of extinct plants. Or, they may coincidentally find just the portal of entry they are adapted to. Like I said, luck of the draw in these cases.
     
  13. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    This is the next Jurassic Park waiting for an author: genetic mutations go awry:
    Mutant Chicken Grows Alligator like Teeth
    The Khan Academy: Evolutionary development: Chicken teeth

    Dino-Chicken: Wacky But Serious Science Idea of 2011
    You can dedicate your next book to Ginger Coffee for her wealth of ideas. ;)
     
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  14. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    @GingerCoffee, that's pretty cool stuff, but not the direction I was peeking at. I'm trying to figure out the after-effects of someone magically resurrecting plant life from handfuls of coal for short-term practical applications.

    However, those kind of studies make me wish Micheal Crichton were alive today:(.
     
  15. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    How are they recovering useful DNA from the coal? Or did you mean, 'magically' literally?
     
  16. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Literally magically:oops:, even though it's all just base substances like carbon.
     
  17. James Random
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    It would grow hydroponically, and if kept isolated.
     

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