Bedtime Science: Why do seeds travel?

A lot of plants have seeds that are made to travel to new places. Why is this?

Plants get their energy from the sun. They need this energy to grow. What happens if a seed falls from a lovely leafy tree? The new plant is in the shade. The sunlight falls on the leaves above it and the seedling won’t get as much.

Not only that, but it’s trying to grow in space that’s taken up by the big tree’s roots. It’s not going to grow big very fast.

To have a better chance at life this seed needs to get away from its parent. That’s why nature has come up with all sorts of different ways for seeds to travel. We’ve looked at helicopters, hooks and darts (prickles). Can you think of any more? Go and have a look outside. Maybe you can discover more some for yourself.

Blown dandelions (Viggo Venneløs løvetann)

Do you know what these are?

EXTRAS

Image attribution: By Erlend Schei (http://www.flickr.com/photos/nerdegutt/3585220976/) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Hint: Taraxacum