Dr M is particularly fond of video as a modern medium for spreading the botanical word and “Plants Are Cool, Too!“ is a YouTube channel acknowledging that animals are pretty interesting – but plants are cool, too!
Created and hosted by Dr Chris Martine of Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, the series is co-sponsored by the Botanical Society of America.
Animals have cornered the market on adventure shows but Chris Martine, Associate Professor of Biology at Bucknell, thinks its time the world found out that plants are cool, too.
Martine describes himself as an “adventure botanist.” He shares his passion for finding and sharing interesting, amazing plants across the globe in a web-based show.
“Plants Are Cool Too!” highlights the wild, wonderful and weird world of botany.
Chris Martine explains: “Plants can be every bit as exciting and interesting as animals and while it’s really easy for young people to find shows about animals, but they can’t find an equivalent type of programming for plants. There are gardening programs, there are programs that tell you what plants to use for cooking – but until now, there were no adventure botany programs that show you the coolest plants on earth.”
“Plant Are Cool Too!” also shines a spotlight on the botanists who are involved in the lives of these plants. “I see the show as a fun way to engage people and get them interested in the green world,” says Chris Martine.
The first episode (see video below) focused on the pitcher plant Sarracenia alata, a carnivorous plant that uses a sweet nectar and self-produced narcotic to lure insects. The plant then digests the bugs in its stomach, very similar to how an animal’s stomach works.
In the second episode, Chris Martine traveled to a fossil bed in Clarkia, Idaho, where researchers are studying 15-million-year-old leaves, well preserved beneath the sediment of an ancient lake.
“It’s an amazing site,” says Martine. “It qualifies as one of the most special plant fossil sites on earth.” He continues, “As you can see in the video, we were able to hold the actual leaves that fell from trees 15 million years ago. They even retained their fall colors.” Martine adds “Having access to actual biological specimens from the deep past allows scientists to do all sorts of otherwise-improbable things, from predicting atmospheric conditions to tracking changes in DNA over millions of years.”
“It’s a perfect example of what we’re trying to highlight,” Martine explained. “Most people don’t know these types of plants exist, and we really want to raise that level of awareness. We want to show people how exciting botany can be and that, yes, plants are cool, too.”
The third episode is all about how smelling like a zombie works out well for the skunk cabbage plant!
The fourth episode? Well you can find out below!
Dr M likes Dr Martine’s approach and hopes the American Dr M can keep the “Plants Are Cool, Too” videos flowing.
Dr M recommends you check out the “Plants Are Cool, Too” theme song, it plays at the start of each video with a cute animation!
Animals are cuddly,
Animals are cute,
You could put a kitten in a 3-piece suit.
But could an animal make tofu, No!
Could an animal feed the whole world, No!!
Could an animal help you get a girl, NO!!!
Plants are cool, too,
Plants are cool, too,
Plants are cool, TOO!
Dr M says: How funny and how true!
But then Dr M has always known that plants are obviously and definitely and totally cool, too!