Heaven On A Barbed Stick
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Robin and the Honey Badger’s mission is to recharge biology with originality for you, the non-specialist reader. Exploring the Bio-edge is a series of e-essays presenting lateral thoughts in search of ever more interesting stories from biology. In this e-essay: one drought-beating tree with an aura of affluence can wear its crown of thorns as a halo. Umbrella thorn typically frames our view of the Serengeti, the perfect backdrop for the big game of Africa. But its value is more than aesthetic, for it is a prime example of mutualism between plants and mammals. The combination of pioneering vigour and a fine profile of noble bearing sets this altruist apart from other acacias. In the spiny saplings, we see the grizzled stubble of a working class in service to large herbivores as this species pragmatically revegetates the barrenness of overgrazing, trampling, and even ploughing. But in maturity, umbrella thorn rises above the hardscrabble of its seedling years – and spreads with the poise of a true ‘crown’.

Each morning Robin and the Honey Badger wake up to a world of Nature with new curiosity. Which aspects of the natural world have been underlooked? Which adaptations or non-adaptations of organisms have been downplayed because of some theoretical bias? Which observations have yet to be integrated because of interdisciplinary timidity? How laterally can we think as we cruise the bewildering diversity of life forms on Earth? Join us in our mission of Exploring the Bio-edge in a series of e-essays that fearlessly - but accurately - cover all corners of biology.

Published: Robin and the Honey Badger on
ISBN: 9781301298990
List price: $2.99
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