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Thorns, Spikes, Pheromones and more

This includes defence responses against predation such as spines and thorns, toxic compounds produced in their leaves, brightly coloured new growth intended to ward off herbivores, or even multiple flushes that are timed to coincide or avoid particular stages of insect or animal life cycles. Besides warding off animals, they also have mechanisms to attract them, such as the odours (for example as those produced by carnivorous plants), or the offer of protection and habitat (for example those produced by ‘Ant Plants’). The desire to attract animals and insects occurs readily outside of rainforest habitats, but many unique and highly specific examples only occur within them.

Thorns help with climbing by latching on to higher objects - Zoe-Joy Newby

An ant plant, Myrmecodia sp. - Zoe-Joy Newby

An ant inhabiting an ant plant - Zoe-Joy Newby

Thorns on stem help to prevent preditors from climbing up plants - Zoe-Joy Newby

Stinger leaves - Maurizio Rossetto

Serious plant defences - Maurizio Rossetto

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