Originally posted by AThousandYoung
Three posts up above yours (four posts above this one)
With the exception of your timer proposal, the two of you more or less repeated what's already
Anyway, I read up a little and it turns out the issue is even more interesting than you might think.
First of all, there are dormant and non-dormant seeds. A non-dormant seed is usually ready to
sprout as soon as its embryo comes in contact with water. (A non-dormant seed also dies if it
doesn't get to sprout within a given time.) A dormant seed on the other hand can survive for
millennia without sprouting as long as its embryo is not exposed to water.
Now, there are different coatings: thin-coated and thick-coated seeds. The kind of seed that can
survive the digestive system of an animal, is the thick coated kind. The seeds have developed in
harmony with the evolution of certain animals that likes to eat the seeds for various reasons. The
thing is, that thick-coated seeds can't even begin to germinate until the thick coating is cracked
and water sips in (add to that the correct temperature required). Some seeds are near impossible
for an animal to crack, so it eats the seed whole. The seed passes through the digestive system
of the animal without breaking. However, it's coating is weakened in the process, and once anally
dumped on the ground it may (just may) eventually crack open and allow water to sip into it.
But really, this was interesting reading. There are so many different ways in which wild seeds can
have their thick coating cracked, the reading just never stops. Quite illuminating when considering
the harmony that's been developing between certain animals and plant life over time. If a given
animal is (or a group of animals are) extinct, it's quite possible that some plant life is lost as its
seeds can be directly dependant on the eating habits and digestive rhythm of that/those animal(s).
Fascinating, isn't it?
Ok, I'm telling you: The reading never stops. There's so much to learn on the seeding of plants, I
can read for days and still only understand the net sum of it. Such as seeds that stick to the fur of
animals to spread. Seeds that only sprout if all conditions (not just exposure to moist, but light,
nourishment and so on) are right. Seeds that are part of fruits and spread when animals eat the
fruit. I'm all dizzy.
But I think the original question has been answered now. A seed in general consists of the coating,
the seed nutrients and the embryo. If the coating of the seed breaks while inside the digestive
system of an animal, the nutrients disperse and the embryo most likely dies.