As he worked through examining Thyron's sequenced DNA, it was no surprise to find a definite resemblance to Earth's vegetation, particularly oxalis, as he'd suspected. The fact that Thyron didn't have the gene associated with deafness explained why he could interpret sounds, including speech, cilia on his leaves detecting vibrations similar to hair in animal ears.
This particular day he was surprised, however, to discover commonality with that of insects, which in Thyron's case related to his visual sensors. Was it possible that a tunneling insect or some extraterrestrial species of leaf-cutter bee had spliced its DNA inside one of his ancestor's seed pods? Comprised of multiple independent units, perhaps evolving from a cluster of seeds, then functioning in concert, their structure vaguely resembled compound eyes.
Their design implied the ability to sense and comprehend numerous things at once, allowing the ultimate in multitasking. Plants were sensitive to wavelengths undetectable to humans as were certain insect species, particularly bees, who perceived ultraviolet. Furthermore, in Thyron's case, his eyes appeared to be capable of storing knowledge, similar to his primary bulb and bipedal nodes.
While the appearance of the vegemal's pupils' resembled that of a predator, rather than controlling visible light input, they were key to how much data he absorbed simultaneously through a broad range of frequencies which Thyron had stated included the entire electro-magnetic spectrum and beyond. Not knowing which gene drove psychic abilities, he didn't know which marker to look for, but it was undoubtedly there somewhere. Perhaps it also lay within the insect genes, which sometimes displayed a form of psi-connectivity among colonies of species such as ants and bees. Or was it possible that the first flora peda telepathis had been genetically engineered?
Satisfied he'd unraveled at least part of the mystery of Thyron's sentience as well as having a theory for how his eyes evolved, a treasure trove remained for future research. Without a doubt, sequencing the genome comprised of 25,000+ genes and 120 million nucleotides would keep him busy for the rest of his life.
After another euphoric day of discovery that left him mentally and physically exhausted—yet nonetheless elated—he left his office to check on Thyron before going home for the day, where he planned to relax with a good beer and Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, having found a paperback copy abandoned in the cafeteria the day before.
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