Scientist Says Plants Have Intelligence

Researchers have also speculated that plants may be able to count, make decisions, recognize their relatives and even remember events. - Getty Images/DailyMail
Researchers have also speculated that plants may be able to count, make decisions, recognize their relatives and even remember events. - Getty Images/DailyMail
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Scientist Says Plants Have Intelligence

Researchers have also speculated that plants may be able to count, make decisions, recognize their relatives and even remember events. - Getty Images/DailyMail
Researchers have also speculated that plants may be able to count, make decisions, recognize their relatives and even remember events. - Getty Images/DailyMail

Plants have been observed to interact with the environment in ways that one scientists has claimed proves they are conscious.

Paco Calvo, a professor at the University of Murcia in Spain, has been researching plant intelligence and problem-solving for years, finding the mimosa appears to ‘learn from experience’ when it stops folding up.

‘In psychology that’s the most basic form of learning,' Calvo told DailyMail.com.

'This pattern of folding, then not folding any more, is consistent with the idea that this plant has learned something as a result of experience, not from its genes.’

The professor also noted that other plants communicate with each other through chemicals, solve problems, and even appear to have memories.

Many scientists define intelligence as having a central nervous system, where electrical signals pass along messages to other nerves to process information.

Instead, plants have a vascular system, which is a network of cells that transports water, minerals and nutrients to help them grow.

'We think of plants as resources, for fuel, for oxygen, for textiles, for foods, but we don’t respect them for their own sake,' said Calvo.

'If we can understand another form of intelligence that does not require brains, perhaps we can understand what unites us all in the tree of life.

'We need to find the master key.'

Some plants appear to ‘remember’ droughts, conserving water more efficiently than plants who have not lived through droughts previously, and strawberries can be trained to associate light with nutrient patches, said the professor.

He continued to explain that plants also learn to time the release of pollen to when pollinators such as bees are present.

Researchers have also speculated that plants may be able to count, make decisions, recognize their relatives and even remember events.

The problem is that humans have an understanding of intelligence based on themselves - which is centered on animals with brains, and leads us to ignore other possible intelligences and consciousnesses.

‘Our view is you’ve got to be an animal, otherwise you cannot be smart. This is very short sighted,' said Calvo.

A recent study conducted at Cornell University found that goldenrods emit a chemical when eaten by beetles, tricking the insects into thinking it is damaged and a poor food source - then nearby goldenrods do the same.

Andre Kessler, a chemical ecologist and professor at Cornell, said: 'This would fit our definition of intelligence.

'Depending on the information it receives from the environment, the plant changes its standard behavior.'

Calvo is among a growing number of scientists who are calling for a new understanding of how plants solve problems and communicate - and said that the way they do so is in many ways similar to how humans ‘think’, just without one central brain.



2 Amur Tiger Cubs Have their 1st Public Outing at German Zoo

Two Amur tiger cubs, Tochka and Timur, have their first public outing at Cologne Zoo in Cologne, Thursday July 18, 2024. (Thomas Banneyer/dpa via AP)
Two Amur tiger cubs, Tochka and Timur, have their first public outing at Cologne Zoo in Cologne, Thursday July 18, 2024. (Thomas Banneyer/dpa via AP)
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2 Amur Tiger Cubs Have their 1st Public Outing at German Zoo

Two Amur tiger cubs, Tochka and Timur, have their first public outing at Cologne Zoo in Cologne, Thursday July 18, 2024. (Thomas Banneyer/dpa via AP)
Two Amur tiger cubs, Tochka and Timur, have their first public outing at Cologne Zoo in Cologne, Thursday July 18, 2024. (Thomas Banneyer/dpa via AP)

Two Amur tiger cubs had their first public outing Thursday at Cologne Zoo in Germany, one of several zoos that have sought to help keep up the numbers of the rare big cats.
The cubs — a female named Tochka and a male named Timur — were born in mid-April and now weigh about 13 kilos each. The pair explored their enclosure together with their mother, 13-year-old Katinka.
Amur tigers, also known as Siberian tigers, are found in the far east of Russia and northeastern China and are considered endangered.
“We are very happy and proud of the offspring of this highly threatened species,” zoo curator Alexander Sliwa said in a statement, which said that 240 Amur tigers in zoos are currently part of a European program to help conserve and breed the animals.
Katinka was brought from the zoo in Nuremberg last summer in exchange for Cologne tiger Akina after the existing pairs at both zoos had long failed to produce offspring. She quickly hit it off with 9-year-old Sergan, the cubs' father, the zoo said.