5-speed listening (Level 5)

Plants can make intelligent decisions






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Plants are smarter than we think. Researchers say they are capable of making intelligent decisions. They say the humble pea plant can make decisions about how best to survive, even though it does not have a brain. Researchers from Oxford University grew several pea plants that had their roots in two different pots, each containing differing amounts of nutrients. One pot always had the same amount, while the other pot varied between a lot and a little. The plants were very consistent. Their roots almost always went to the pot with the most nutrients.

The research paper will be published in the 'Current Biology' journal. A researcher said it, "raises a question, not about plants, but about animals and humans". He thought the pea plant might be more efficient when making decisions than humans. He said: "We have a very fancy brain, but maybe most of the time we're not using it." He said pea plants do not have human-like intelligence, but they show complex behaviour to take advantage of their environment. It would be interesting to see how our lives would be different if we made decisions like the pea plant.

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