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Animation: Fruit Structure and Seed Dispersal

by Pearson
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When seeds are mature enough, the ovaries change their function and develop into seed-dispersing structures called fruits. There are many patterns of fruit development, depending on the number of carpels, ovaries, and flowers that form one fruit. Fruits can also be divided into the categories of dry fruits and fleshy fruits. In dry fruits, the ovary dries out at maturity. It may develop hooks that catch animal fur, as in this example. Or the ovary and other flower parts may form a wing or a parasol or hairs to catch the wind. Sometimes the dry ovary builds tensions that, when released, will shoot the seeds into the air. In fleshy fruits, such as tomatoes and peaches, the outer tissues of the ovary thicken and become soft, sweet, and brightly colored. Fleshy fruits invite animal dispersal; the seeds are ingested and, if they escape digestion, they are excreted with fertilizer, hopefully in a choice location.
When seeds are mature enough, the ovaries change their function and develop into seed-dispersing structures called fruits. There are many patterns of fruit development, depending on the number of carpels, ovaries, and flowers that form one fruit. Fruits can also be divided into the categories of dry fruits and fleshy fruits. In dry fruits, the ovary dries out at maturity. It may develop hooks that catch animal fur, as in this example. Or the ovary and other flower parts may form a wing or a parasol or hairs to catch the wind. Sometimes the dry ovary builds tensions that, when released, will shoot the seeds into the air. In fleshy fruits, such as tomatoes and peaches, the outer tissues of the ovary thicken and become soft, sweet, and brightly colored. Fleshy fruits invite animal dispersal; the seeds are ingested and, if they escape digestion, they are excreted with fertilizer, hopefully in a choice location.