To accompany “Please do not touch the Australian stinging tree”
1. Name three or four plants that are toxic for humans or animals to eat or touch.
2. Why might these plants have evolved to become toxic?
1. What do the Indigenous Gubbi Gubbi people of eastern Australia call the “stinging tree?”
2. Tiny hairs that cover the leaves, stems and fruit of the stinging tree. From what are these structures made?
3. What are amino acids? What are peptides?
4. How many types of amino acids did researchers at Queensland University discover in the toxin of the stinging tree?
5. What are sodium channels, where are they located and how does the toxin of the stinging tree affect them?
6. What is “convergent evolution?”
1. What benefits might people get from better understanding the toxicity of the stinging tree?
2. Why might organisms living in similar environments or ecosystems evolve similar traits?