Category Archives: Plants & Animals

Durian’s Legendary Smell Is A Brilliant Adaptation

Durians developed this intense and far-reaching smell as a way to advertise the presence of ripe fruits and attract animals that occur at very low densities in the rainforests. Pollinated by bats and dispersed by elephants, the durian is “a beautiful example” of cooperation between plant and animal species,(Click on title for full story.)

Deer Alter Forest By Avoiding Bad-Tasting Invasive Plants

When rampant white-tailed deer graze in forests, they prefer to eat native plants over certain unpalatable invasive plants, such as garlic mustard and Japanese stiltgrass. These eating habits lower native plant diversity and abundance, while increasing the proportion of plant communities made up of non-native species, according to a new study. (Click on title for full story.)

Endangered Flying Fox Bats Important For Durian Industry

“These are very important findings because they shed more light on the crucial ecosystem services provided by flying foxes. Previously it was known that the smaller, nectar-feeding bats are pollinators for durian – but many people believed that flying foxes were too large and destructive to play such a role. Our study shows the exact opposite: that these giant fruit bats are actually very effective in pollinating durian trees.” (Click on title for full story.)

How Researchers’ Inexperience Revealed The Positive Relationship Of Parrots And Plants

So we decided to overcome the punctures of the spiky scrubs, transform the fear of the stings of pit vipers (Bothros spp) prudently and look for the fresh remains under any tree where the parrots had just eaten. Only thanks to this decision, motivated by our inexperience and the consequent insecurity, allowed us to abandon our initial idea of considering the parrots as exclusively predatory antagonists of the plants from which they fed, to transform it into a more real and complex one that placed them at a variable point in the continuous antagonism / mutualism. (Click on title for full story.)

Flower Color And Fragrance Send Coordinated Message To Island Pollinators

The team investigated the way these plants communicate with a diverse assemblage of insect pollinators in the same community. They discovered a link between the color of the flowers and their fragrance, such that the two characteristics can be regarded as one integrated signal. This is the first study to demonstrate color-fragrance integration for an entire plant community. (Click on title for full story.)

Did Algae Kill The Dinosaurs?

Over time, the team grew skeptical of drought as the only explanation. Large and small animals nestle against each other, suggesting that the bodies were buried where they died and that the killer struck all kinds of animals without discrimination. In addition, whatever killed these animals “was fast-acting,dropping birds in their tracks.” And it happened again and again, creating multiple layers of bone beds. (Click on title for full story.)

When The Flower Forces The Pollinator To Adapt

This is one of the few examples where a pollinator had to adapt to the flowers that it pollinates, rather than the other way round, (Click on title for full story.)

Where Bees Can’t Reach To Groom Themselves Flowers Will Find The Pollen They Need

It has been hypothesised that specific body areas, bees cannot groom, serve as ‘safe sites’ for pollen transfer between flowers. For the first time, we experimentally demonstrated the position, area and pollen amount of safe sites at the examples of Apis mellifera and Bombus terrestris by combining artificial contamination of the bees’ body with pine or sunflower pollen and the subsequent bees’ incomplete grooming. (Click on title for full story.)

Flowers Defend Against Bee Nectar-Robbers

Short-tongued bees, on the other hand, chew through the hood of the plants’ flowers to better access the nectar. This method is to the detriment of the plant as the bees bypass its reproductive structures. Ecologists call them nectar robbers. But plants fight back. (Click on title for full story.)

Tundra Animals Help Off -Set Climate Change Impact On Plant Species

“We found that the warming increased the number of species in plots that were grazed, because it enabled small tundra plants to appear and grow there. But when we fenced reindeer, voles and lemmings out, vegetation became denser and the light was limited. As a result, many small and slowly-growing plant species were lost,” (Click on title for full story.)