::: peter pan seed dispersal theory
When we were being shown around Croydon West Primary School‘s Sustainability Room recently …
we noticed a table with boxes …
holding a wide variety of seeds and their pods.
The sustainability teacher, Ruth, said she had been discussing with her children the idea of the Peter Pan Dispersal Theory, which helps explain the different ways that some plants can distribute seeds.
There are 6 points to this theory:
1. Hooks (Captain Hook): These seeds adhere to animal fur (or your socks) using velco-like hooks and loops to be carried to another location (grasses, burrs).
2. Wings (Tinker Bell): These seeds have attachments such as a specifically designed wing or helicopter to assist them to fly to another location (sheoak, hakea pines).
3. Fly (Peter Pan): These seeds are light and fluffy and have specially designed feathery tufts to help them be carried by the wind (but they don’t have a wing) (lettuce, dandelions, daisies).
4. Sail (oceans and boats): These seeds are carried by catching a hydro-ride on raindrops, rivers and other water bodies to travel to other locations (passionfruit, water chestnuts, coconut, tea tree, red gum, apple).
5. Explosions (pirate ships and battles): These seeds are self dispersers using a special mechanism where the two halves of the pod twist apart and explode, catapulting the seeds into the air (pea, broccoli, wattle).
6. Digestion (crocodile): Fruit eaten by animals and birds, where the seeds pass through the digestive system and is ready to germinate in their droppings (tomato, blackberry, kiwi fruit, cucumber).
What a wonderful way to illustrate how seeds are dispersed.
Many children know the story of Peter Pan, and if not, now might be a good time to explore it.