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Flat Earth Academy- Science- Botany

Ferns and similar plants- a plant kingdom "phylum"

This is a work in progress... please bear with me, come back and watch it grow? Send constructive suggestions?

The ferns (and similar plants) are all plants. The group is like a "phylum" (next level subdivision) of the plant kingdom. ("Phylum" is in quotes, because botanists don't use that term, but "ferns (and similar plants)" is one of the sub-groups the plant kingdom is divided into, so I think it is okay to think of it as a phylum!)

The ferns and similar plants

Ferns are more advanced than mosses in that they have a vascular system... "little tubes" in their bodies to move water from roots, up stems, and out leaves... and the product of photosynthesis, sugar, down from the leaves to the roots.

They are less advanced than the seeded plants in that they do not reproduce with seeds. Instead they use spores, a simpler... but less reliable... means of reproduction. However, to make up for the weakness of spores, the ferns make many more of them (typically) than (most) seeded plants make seeds. In biology, it is all about trade-offs.

Besides the plants you would recognize as a "fern", including bracken, the group includes horsetails. If you've never seen one, try to find someone who can show you one. Horsetail fossils exist from as much as 100 million years ago. (Humans have existed for about 0.2 million years.)

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