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Published on Oct 8, 2012
Hank introduces us to one of the most diverse and important families in the tree of life - the vascular plants. These plants have found tremendous success and the their secret is also their defining trait: conductive tissues that can take food and water from one part of a plant to another part. Though it sounds simple, the ability to move nutrients and water from one part of an organism to another was a evolutionary breakthrough for vascular plants, allowing them to grow exponentially larger, store food for lean times, and develop features that allowed them to spread farther and faster. Plants dominated the earth long before animals even showed up, and even today hold the world records for the largest, most massive, and oldest organisms on the planet.