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Thursday, April 25, 2024

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    There’s Intelligence In Nature

    Every Living Creature Has Intelligence

    I’ve been observing some things, and because thinking about them seem way beyond and higher than my mind can handle at present, I let peace reign.

    I know, something tells me, and I have some observable evidence to proclaim without fear that every creature has intelligence. But because I am not in the right frame to start explaining, I’d rather stick with the living creatures for now.

    Moreso, at a time both the economic situation, and the physical environment are unleashing their hadeistic tendencies, it is best not to trouble the souls of men with thoughts outside the usual.

    A beautiful example of the interplay of symbiotic relationship between the Acacia tree and Ants which signifies a very high level of intelligence is how the tree accommodates the Ants rent free and also feed them but with established boundaries.

    The ants feed on the sweet nectar produced by the tree and to offset their mortgage, they provide protection for the tree by attacking and stinging any animal that attempt to eat the leaves of the tree.

    As if the presence of the Ants is not enough guarantee of protection, the tree has also developed very useful physical and behavioral adaptations by growing long, sharp thorns that hurt the tongues of animals when they want to eat its lush leaves.

    Because of how sharp the thorns are, they are nicknamed ‘Devil Thorns’ in Africa. But nature will always nature. The giraffes have also developed a counter to this discouraging presence of sharp thorns on its most loved delicacy, so it has adapted by growing incredible tongues.

    The giraffe’s tongue is about 45cm in length and highly prehensile. This allows the animal to navigate the mine infested branches of the Acacia trees by successfully negotiating the bigger thorns and pulling the leaves from the branch without getting wounded.

    Unbeknownst to the Acacia trees they think that the thorns and the Ants provides solid protection against intrusions. Then again, nature will always nature. This is because the same nectar the Acacia uses as collateral for the services of the ants is also its most precious possession that it hopes to protect at all costs.

    The nectar is the tree’s source of reproduction and it needs to attract pollinators if it must reproduce, not destroyers, so the jigsaw is how to give the ants a strictly controlled access.

    To ensure the ants do not overstep their bounds and like a dog, start feeding on the bone that was kept under its care for protection the plants have deviced ways of making and releasing certain chemicals that discombobulate the ants sending them into a defensive frenzy, forcing them into retreat from eating the precious nectars the plant prepared for pollinators.

    Acacia leaf

    This photograph?

    That complex relationship between the Acacia tree, the ants and the giraffes jumped into my consciousness this evening while thinking of a similar natural exhibition by the Holly trees. Whenever the trees experience that their leaves are being nibbled by deers, they do the improbable by switching on certain genes to make the leaves spiky when they regrow.

    This spikiness affects only the leaves on the lower branches closer to the ground while those upper leaves that are out of reach of the animals have smooth edges. With the spikes, the animals keep off the leaves for fear of harming their tongues.

    When I think of the knowledge we are yet to scratch in our observable spaces, I am humbled by how enormously ignorant I am.

    Nature is deep!

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