A Hunka, Hunka Burnin’ Buds As you read this article be thinking about the following questions: 1) What metabolic process do angiosperms (flowering plants) and all plants do? 2) Why is it suspected that the lotus described in this article modifies its metabolism? Plants, like animals, use oxygen to burn food stored in their cells for energy. In animals this process produces a lot of heat, part of which is used to help maintain a steady body temperature. Being rather sedentary, though, plants generally use less fuel and thus produce much less heat. But Roger Seymour, a zoologist at the University of Adelaide in Australia has found one plant that puts out as much heat as many a more mobile life-form. The sacred lotus, or Nelumbo nucifera, like a warm- blooded animal, can regulate its temperature, keeping its flowers at 86 to 95 degrees even if the air around it is as cool as 41 degrees. The lotus isn’t the first plant known to elevate its temperature- -in the eighteenth century the French
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Pollination, Nelumbo nucifera, steady body temperature