Shower power: Raindrops shoot seeds out with a splat

12:22pm, January 23, 2002

Brazilian botanists have caught Mother Nature playing with squirt guns.

When raindrops hit the triangular seed capsules of a Bertolonia plant, water floods internal channels, then squirts out the capsule corners carrying seeds with it, report Marco A. Pizo and L. Patrícia C. Morellato of Universidade Estadual Paulista in Rio Claro. In the January American Journal of Botany, they say they'd never heard of such a seed-dispersal mechanism.

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