Plants can feign illness

Aside from an active social life, plants display a whole range of other human-like behaviours.

The elephant’s ear Caladium steudneriifolium is prone to infestations of mining moth larvae: once hatched, the caterpillars eat their way through its leaves. To prevent this, plants can feign illness, displaying a white variegation pattern on their leaves which resembles recent larval damage. Preferring to exploit a healthy plant, the moths lay their eggs elsewhere.

The leaf on the left shows real predation, whereas the one on the right has been variegated by the plant to mimic it. Read more here.


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