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What is the purpose of goatheads in nature?

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What is the purpose of goatheads in nature?

Old 12-16-12, 02:53 PM
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What is the purpose of goathead spikes in nature?

I finally had my first flats from them. Fortunately it wasn't many and I'd read about them on bf so knew what the first one was.

What I don't understand is how the seed having a spike pointed straight up helps the plant at all. I can understand brambles, seeds that stick to clothes or fur, and get carried around to new places that way. Most natural things seem to be logical.

But with the point straight up if it sticks in a foot or paw, isn't even an animal going to try to get it out immediately? Is there any way at all that this helps it? Or does it prey on animals that might have a difficult time getting it out, like a moose?
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Old 12-16-12, 02:59 PM
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You have goatheads up there in the great white north?
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Old 12-16-12, 03:05 PM
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According to Wiki they are a natural Viagra and testosterone booster.
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Old 12-16-12, 03:06 PM
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Goatheads evolved concurrently with the pneumatic bicycle tire. Before the bicycle tire there were no goatheads. They use bicycle tires to spread their seeds.
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Old 12-16-12, 10:29 PM
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Simple seed transport mechanism. Goatheads are seeds. They get caught up in fur, clothing, bike tires, whatever and relocated to new area. The flat tires are just a bonus for the LBS. In fact, many LBS owners plant goatheads on trails near their shops......
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Originally Posted by colorider View Post
Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 12-16-12, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
Goatheads evolved concurrently with the pneumatic bicycle tire. Before the bicycle tire there were no goatheads. They use bicycle tires to spread their seeds.
Close Denver, they were a GMO product developed by bicycle tube manufacturers to increase profits from sales of tubes and patch kits. Only more evidence that corporate America and the Chinese are taking over the world. I thought that the way to fight this evil was to buy Slime tubes, but they are in on the plot against America too. I had to resort to a canoe to foil the plot.
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Old 12-17-12, 12:45 AM
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A nuisance created to balance out the benefits of legal weed?
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Old 12-17-12, 07:37 AM
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They are a govt. tracking system....they attach to your clothing, fur, tires, etc. and allow officers to track where you are and where you have been.
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Old 12-17-12, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Shifty View Post
Close Denver, they were a GMO product developed by bicycle tube manufacturers to increase profits from sales of tubes and patch kits. Only more evidence that corporate America and the Chinese are taking over the world. I thought that the way to fight this evil was to buy Slime tubes, but they are in on the plot against America too. I had to resort to a canoe to foil the plot.
Ah yes, I forgot the "goathead profit motive." Of course.
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Old 12-17-12, 07:56 AM
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Good question.

They are obviously a seed transport, like was said before. I suppose they are evolved to attach themselves to smaller animals like squirrels, racoons and opossum. Animals who's midriffs are closer to the ground.

They're nuisance side effect is designed to flatten tires first, then to maim you when you step off the bike.
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Old 12-17-12, 08:22 AM
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You are all wrong, God made them to punish cyclists.
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Old 12-17-12, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by chris..... View Post
You are all wrong, God made them to punish cyclists.
Just like he invented minivans to punish Jim.

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Old 12-17-12, 09:51 AM
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If they were meant to punish us, they would be smily faces, not goat heads.
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Originally Posted by colorider View Post
Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 12-17-12, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
A nuisance created to balance out the benefits of legal weed?
Yes they are trying to drive mtn bikers to drink.
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Old 12-17-12, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by colorider View Post
Yes they are trying to drive mtn bikers to drink.
this summer we had a particularly bad goathead year... all of my MTB friends had multiple flats...on every ride! 'cept me... no flats at all... proof I am the Chosen One apparently!
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Old 12-17-12, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Pamestique View Post
this summer we had a particularly bad goathead year... all of my MTB friends had multiple flats...on every ride! 'cept me... no flats at all... proof I am the Chosen One apparently!
Your real name is Chaim Potok?
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Old 12-17-12, 11:49 AM
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I'd say that the thorny nature while on the plant counters grazers and that resulted in a secondary benefit..dispersal.
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Old 12-17-12, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by chris..... View Post
You are all wrong, God made them to punish cyclists.
No,

God allowed Satan to create tehm to torment cyclists. They are a satanic plot.
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Old 12-17-12, 01:27 PM
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Their purpose in nature is to flatten bike (and stroller/jogger) tires, of course.
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Old 12-17-12, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by ZippyThePinhead View Post
You have goatheads up there in the great white north?
No I've never seen one around Calgary. I ran into them while I was on vacation closer to your area.

Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
Goatheads evolved concurrently with the pneumatic bicycle tire. Before the bicycle tire there were no goatheads. They use bicycle tires to spread their seeds.
Dammit, that means they are evolving faster than us, just like the rodents.

Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
They get caught up in fur, clothing, bike tires, whatever and relocated to new area.
That's the part I don't understand. The seeds I've seen caught up in my clothing have curly hooks to do the job. The straight spikes on goatheads wouldn't do it nearly as well. Plus having the main spike point up when they are on the ground seems to be part of their strategy. That won't get it caught up in clothing or fur.
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Old 12-17-12, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Closed Office View Post
No I've never seen one around Calgary. I ran into them while I was on vacation closer to your area.



Dammit, that means they are evolving faster than us, just like the rodents.



That's the part I don't understand. The seeds I've seen caught up in my clothing have curly hooks to do the job. The straight spikes on goatheads wouldn't do it nearly as well. Plus having the main spike point up when they are on the ground seems to be part of their strategy. That won't get it caught up in clothing or fur.
You are talking as if everything was designed. If they evolved then they make prefect sense. It works better for getting dispersed than a seed with just a round coat (which most seeds have).
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Old 12-17-12, 07:22 PM
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I saw an episode of FRINGE on goatheads. Something about a parallell....damn it, I can't remember now.
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Old 12-17-12, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Closed Office View Post
No I've never seen one around Calgary. I ran into them while I was on vacation closer to your area.
Yeah, we have an abundance of them around here. The plant is an insidious thing with a long taproot, so it can survive even when other plants die for want of moisture.

I use sealant-filled tubes on my MTB, which are pretty effective against goatheads. However I flatted once on my road bike because of a goathead. No sealant-filled tubes on that bicycle.
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Old 12-17-12, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by chris..... View Post
You are all wrong, God made them to punish cyclists.
True. The Westboro Baptist Church is planning to start picketing cyclists with flat tires, carrying signs: "Thank God For Flat Tires".
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Old 12-18-12, 08:19 PM
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They don't call it puncturevine for nothing!

Originally Posted by chris..... View Post
You are all wrong, God made them to punish cyclists.
because we dress 'gay'? LOL
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