“Every bite an herbivore takes comes at the expense of a plant,” explains Nature Education’s Knowledge Project. “Are plants passive victims or do they actively resist these attacks?”
Consider the surfaces of the plants. Why do some plants have bark, waxy leaves, thorns, or spines? And what about those hard-to-detect stinging microstructures, bitter tastes, and toxic chemicals that some plants hide beneath their surfaces? This TED-Ed lesson by Valentin Hammoudi, directed by Juan M. Urbina Studios, explores the amazing ways plants defend themselves.
“Plants are constantly under attack. They face threats ranging from microscopic fungi to small herbivores like caterpillars, up to large herbivores like elephants. But plants are ready, with a whole series of internal and external defenses that make them a less appealing meal — or even a deadly one.”
Related reading: How Plants Defend Themselves—Over Time at Cornell Research.
Plus: An Overview of Plant Defenses against Pathogens and Herbivores from The American Phytopathological Society.
Next, watch more TED-Ed videos about nature and these handpicked related videos:
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• Why do baby koalas eat their mothers’ poop?
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