All posts by zooplantman

Former Director of Horticulture, Wildlife Conservation Society/Bronx Zoo. Zoo exhibit & landscape designer perversely fascinated by the doings of plants, animals, ecosystems and other things not requiring batteries
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Plants That Save Lives Need Saving Themselves

A global survey carried out by more than 100 botanists and other scientists has found that more than 10,000 species of medicinal plants face extinction, including many used in prescription drugs that cannot be commercially synthesised.

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What We Can Do For Pollinators

Since pollination is essential to crop and plant life, the Convention on Biological Diversity has adopted the International Pollinators Initiative to promote the conservation and sustainable use of pollinator diversity in agriculture and related ecosystems.

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Male Wasps Would Rather Do It With An Orchid

In an extreme case of sex fakery, an orchid produces oddball chemicals that mimic a female wasp's allure so well that males prefer the floral scents to the real thing, scientists say.

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Not How Leaves Turn Red… But Why?

Does the red-making machine turn on by accident, or do the red pigments contribute something valuable? Why would passengers fleeing the Titanic stop to repaint their staterooms?

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3000 Year Old Indian Herb Reduces Cholesterol

Scientists in the US say they have found evidence to back giving it to patients with high cholesterol

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Sweat The Small Stuff

A tropical tree creates insect nurseries in its buds for miniscule pollinators, say German scientists. This novel strategy relies on thrips, insects rarely considered pollinators. Darwin dismissed thrips as annoyances that fouled his pollination experiments, and since then biologists studying pollination haven't paid much attention to this dot of a creature.

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Every Pollinator Rule Has An Exception

Supposedly specialized flowers often host a great diversity of insects and birds, whose impacts vary. A slightly bumbling bee might provide vital services when better pollinators aren't around but then become a nuisance, essentially a thief, in better times.

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A Novel Way To Disperse Seeds

Brazilian botanists have caught Mother Nature playing with squirt guns.

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Mistletoe And Marsupials. A New Holiday Tradition?

For most people, mistletoe evokes images of Christmas and perhaps a little holiday romance. For a group of Argentine researchers, it brings to mind marsupials and defecation.