Researchers from the University of Colorado-Boulder have found evidence that suggests some plants are altruistic or unselfish or selfless too.
UC-Boulder researchers examined corn, in which each fertilized seed contained an embryo and a matching piece of tissue known as endosperm that nourishes the embryo as the seed grows. They compared the growth and behavior of the embryos and endosperm in seeds with the same mother and father with the growth and behavior of embryos and endosperm that had genetically different parents..
The researchers say:
“The results indicated embryos with the same mother and father as the endosperm in their seed weighed significantly more than embryos with the same mother but a different father..”
“We found that endosperm that does not share the same father as the embryo does not hand over as much food — it appears to be acting less cooperatively.”
“Altruism only evolves if the benefactor is a close relative of the beneficiary. When the endosperm gives all of its food to the embryo and then dies, it doesn’t get more altruistic than that.”
I haven’t seen altruism in plants yet. But I have seen altruism in animals. They are amazing.
Some scientists believe humans have in-built altruism. But most humans behave altruistically towards close kin than to distant kin and non-kin. I wish humans could be more altruistic towards non-kin, animals and plants. The idea of the ‘survival of the fittest’ has been replaced by the idea of the ‘survival of the nicest.’