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SPC PLANT027 300x300

Handtrap

Common NameEdit

Handtrap

Scientific NameEdit

Helicobatus inretire

DescriptionEdit

This looks like a possible ancestral state to the polystem we see on other organisms - stems that independently grow out of the ground, connecting in a spiral that is probably fused. The growths on the inside might be spines - but the most likely places for herbivory are on the outside. Perhaps the tissue on the outside has other defenses - toughness, or noxious chemicals - or the inside is particularly tasty. It's also possible that the growths are colorless cnideria. I guess if they're spines, we should look for a motobiont with a very narrow consumption orifice. (That's the ten-dollar version of 'mouth', to prevent accidental equating of the two structures.) --Jane Van Susteren, Exobiology Lead

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