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Nashua;29.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/nskc.png;2014-04-17 02:42:06
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(Photo from Idlers Journal blog: http://idlersjournal.blogspot.com/2012_05_01_archive.html)
It hurts just to look at them.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Why does a berry-producing plant have thorns? Isn't that counter-productive?

I picked some wild blackberries today - man, what a vicious plant that is, with thorns like nails. I felt like Steve McQueen at the end of "The Great Escape", entangled in barbed wire.

Which leads to the question: Why does a berry-producing plant have thorns, anyway?

The point of producing berries is to get them eaten, so the seeds will be distributed hither and yon in poop and help you win the Darwinian struggle. The point of producing thorns is to keep animals and birds away so they won't eat you, helping you win the Darwinian struggle. Isn't it counter-productive to have both? Yet many berry-producing plants have thorns of some kind. Weird.