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Old 10-23-2010, 02:21 PM
Taronyu
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Default Avatar’s New Twist on Plants

An article in Astrobiology Magazine about the plants in Avatar:


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Although they're not nominated for an Academy Award, plants play a central role in the blockbuster movie "Avatar." A botanist provided the science behind how these unusual organisms may have evolved.
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Old 10-23-2010, 03:17 PM
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Interesting

What's most interesting to me as a biologist is how they evolved, since it's perfectly possible for them to evolve, they just happened to to evolve towards a more complicated structure on Earth.

That guy saying Pandora didn't look exotic just because the plants were green (which is stupid as not every star will have a different emission spectrum to ours) though... was he even WATCHING the film? - unfortunately, Earth lacks bioluminescence just as a single point
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Old 04-23-2011, 02:46 PM
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More about alien plants:

Colors of Alien Plants

Pondering Alien Plants
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:55 AM
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IIRC, in the original drawings, the colorw were intended to be blue and purple and other shades of green, but they did not contrast well with a blue and purple sky, so for aesthetic reasons they skipped it. So we kind of have to imagine that the plants on Pandora have the same color at day that they emit at night when they are glowing

I do not know the spectrum of Alpha Centauri to know if it would be different enough from Earth to change the color of plants though.

The explanation about bioluminescence is not so convincing though - I am not sure how such an abundant bioluminescence could be explained from a biology standpoint. After all, bioluminescence takes a lot of energy from the plant and has to bring a significant advantage to be kept in evolution. In the article the explanation is "long nights", but that seems to me not such a great explanation. Especially as there are not likely to be long dark nights on Pandora very often, given its position near a sky-filling gas giant. My personal theory was more that the strong variation causes almost permanent illumination that all life is used to. In the instances when there is a truely dark night, e.g. if Prometheus is blocking the sun, this is a more unusual event and life adaped to this by developing biodiversity to keep the status quo of a dusk-like illumination.
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Old 04-26-2011, 12:04 AM
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Not long so much as variable. It's a case that if bioluminescence is prevalent, most species have it because having none actually makes them more obvious (plus camouflage appears to be secondary at best in the survival mechanisms of most creatures).
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
Not long so much as variable.
The darkness/light cycle. Yes indeed. It would be way more complicated than on Earth. Though thinking of it - there might be quite a long night in the shadow of Prometheus, depending on the orbit of Pandora, e.g. if it is relatively close and relatively slow. But the slower it orbits, the more rare such long nights would be.

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[/It's a case that if bioluminescence is prevalent, most species have it because having none actually makes them more obvious
That I do not really understand - If it is dark and one does not want to get eaten, staying without luminescence would be just fine, right? One would be less obvious in that case, no?

But if one depends on pollinators and other creatures constantly, as it might be in a world that only rarely has darkness, it would make sense to bridge that darkness and lack of pollinators with producing light. It would also not be that expensive energywise because it is only a short period compared to the periods of light. At least that is a logic I can think of.
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:06 PM
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Here is an old (2010) interview with Jodie Holt, the Botanist Behind Avatar:


An Interview with Jodie Holt, the Botanist Behind ‘Avatar’ » Scienceline
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
I’ve had so many people tell me that when Sigourney Weaver used the pipette in the lab, she picked it up upside down. You would get air in it that way.
I cringe EVERY TIME I watch the movie at that scene. Not just because of the air but also because the liquid goes into the poor pipette and ruins it.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:26 AM
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...and I find that brilliant that that's the worst mistake in the film. If anything, it works in that she just doesn't care any more by then.
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