Jul 28, 2016

Shooting Mechanisms in Nature: A Systematic Review

PloS One
Aimée SakesPaul Breedveld

Abstract

In nature, shooting mechanisms are used for a variety of purposes, including prey capture, defense, and reproduction. This review offers insight into the working principles of shooting mechanisms in fungi, plants, and animals in the light of the specific functional demands that these mechanisms fulfill. We systematically searched the literature using Scopus and Web of Knowledge to retrieve articles about solid projectiles that either are produced in the body of the organism or belong to the body and undergo a ballistic phase. The shooting mechanisms were categorized based on the energy management prior to and during shooting. Shooting mechanisms were identified with projectile masses ranging from 1·10-9 mg in spores of the fungal phyla Ascomycota and Zygomycota to approximately 10,300 mg for the ballistic tongue of the toad Bufo alvarius. The energy for shooting is generated through osmosis in fungi, plants, and animals or muscle contraction in animals. Osmosis can be induced by water condensation on the system (in fungi), or water absorption in the system (reaching critical pressures up to 15.4 atmospheres; observed in fungi, plants, and animals), or water evaporation from the system (reaching up to -197 atmospheres; observed ...Continue Reading

  • References88
  • Citations10

References

  • References88
  • Citations10

Citations

Mentioned in this Paper

Rana pipiens
Lipid Droplet
Shoot Formation
Trees (plant)
Energy Metabolism
Filamentous fungus
Reproduction
Reproduction Spores
Bufo alvarius
Cnidaria

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