It is to look into an amazing and unknown world“, explains Alonso (Valladolid, 1962) in an interview with Efe about this publication, in which he compiles the most recent scientific research on the plant kingdom to count” the latest discoveries in a pleasant
From the “antiterrorist ” plants that detect explosive substances around them and change color to warn of their presence, the eucalyptus that accumulate gold or the plant that modifies its leaves in the form of a parabolic antenna to attract pollinating bats with their echoes, in the middle of the jungle, all have room in this hardcover volume.
Botany unusual” (Next Door) presents, over 249 pages dotted with illustrations, the most striking features and anecdotes of the vast kingdom “Plantae” and its species, capable of exploits that open “new possibilities” for the scientific, technological and everyday life in society.
The work explores the abilities of farmers to produce components that fight Ebola or cancer, the techniques of carnivorous plants such as the drosera to catch insects with their adhesive hairs and to ingest them to satisfy their need for protein, or the life of the oldest known tree on the face of the Earth, at 9,550 years old, a pick called The Old Tikko.
It also details how the” internet ” of tomato plants, which communicate vital information by air, or the variety of orchids, greater than that of mammals, which copy the appearance of bees to “exploit” them, because after attracting them they reproduce through the pollen they carry.
The examples “hook” any reader, says Alonso, who has won some of the main Scientific Dissemination Awards in Spain, such as the Tesla.
He discovered the “unusual” cases he collects when preparing his classes as a university professor with scientific articles from different journals, which he now shares in this book, The Fruit of his” passion ” for science and plants.
Botany, a fundamental part of culture
Alonso claims Botany as a fundamental part of culture and believes that his greater knowledge would “improve” the use of the qualities of these green beings, in fields such as the fight against climate change, the production of new medicines or renewable energy sources such as hydrogen, a fuel that leaves produce “in huge quantities”.
The plants, the author continues, have played a major role in the survival of humanity, either as a barrier against hunger (rice, wheat and corn are the basis of food) or as a tool for environmental sustainability.
The Titan hoop, the “Amorphophallus titanum“, a plant weighing more than 50 kilograms, known as” the corpse flower“, which produces because it uses an unpleasant smell to attract scavenging insects, was one of the” hardest “to draw, says Gonzalez, because it had to get the drawing” to smell” bad.
The case of the mollusk that feeds thanks to the photosynthesis of the algae that it carries adherents is “one of the most impressive” for González, who also stands out to “Sleeping Beauty”, The “Silene stenophylla”, a plant that “resurrected” after 30,000 years frozen in Russian Siberia. However