The following misconceptions are ones I recently discovered about plants and animals. A couple of them are partially true, but only to a certain extent. I've always enjoyed learning about nature, and correcting these false views is actually pretty entertaining. So, without further ado, here they are:
When I was six, the first thing I ever heard about where bananas come from was that they grew on trees. I was stunned. It didn't seem like such a ridiculous looking fruit could possibly come from a tree. Apples, maybe. Even pears, I'd believe. But bananas? I refused to accept it until I saw a picture of what really looked like bananas growing on trees. From then on, I trusted that fact. And so has the rest of the world.
In truth, there is no such thing as a banana tree. From what it looks like, the plant bananas grow out of do seem to share many similar aspects to a tree, but is actually the largest perennial herb in the world. Their leaves can grow to nearly 25 feet tall, but because its stem does not contain any traces of wood, it cannot be classified as a tree, making the banana technically an herb. Bananas are also considered berries, since they grow from one flower with a singe ovary. So as large as the leaves get, banana plants aren't getting any closer to being a tree. Sorry.
In all my life, I've never seen a bullfighting competition. Anyone who has is officially on my "strangely interesting person" list. Although I haven't been to one in real life, I do know a bit about them, and from what I've seen on the internet, bullfighters wave a red cape in front of the bull, which seemingly enrages it, causing it to charge, and it goes on from there. It was a little strange to hear that an animal would attack someone who has done nothing but shake a color in front of them. What does the color red even have to do with bulls?
Human beings have trichromatic vision; the cone-shaped photoreceptor cells in our eyes are able to detect the wavelengths of light that come into the eye. We have three types of cone-shaped photoreceptors, each designated for red, green, and blue. The color we see depends on the strength of the wavelength of light we see. On the other hand, bulls have dichromatic vision, so they can only detect two colors, usually blue and green- no red. Bulls cannot tell the difference between red and green.
What really gets the bulls worked up is the waving motion of the cape that the bullfighter is holding. They will charge at whatever is moving the most, without any color discrimination.
Camels are one of those types of creatures that have a very unique and intriguing body shape. With those funny-looking humps, one often wonders what's inside. I was one of those people, and I asked around to see if anyone knew what exactly camels stored in those humps, or if they stored anything at all. Not surprisingly, everyone explained to me how camels used their humps as a water storage center to stay hydrated in their desert habitat. Not surprisingly, everyone was wrong.
Camels do, in fact, store water, but in an unexpected place- their blood (and any other area that has fluids). The way a camel's body works is specifically tailored to survive an a desert environment. It's designed to use the least amount of water possible. Their urine has very little water, and their feces is extremely dry, just to prevent expelling any water that they could potentially use.
Next week will be my final blog post in this "Free Choice" Series, and after that is my Final Reflection. I can't believe the end of the year is approaching so quickly!