Category Archives: Plants & Animals

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Venus Flytrap Mechanics Revealed

As a vegetarian, it is nice to think about plants that eat animals rather than the other way around!

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Plants Get Ants "Jacked Up" On Nectar To Make Them Aggressive

Researchers report for the first time that when plants supply ants with nectar, it boosts the ants' desire for meat, potentially making them better bodyguards for the plant.

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Do Birds Chose Herbs to Protect Their Nests?

If the fresh herbs and plant materials that parent birds bring into the nest have a sufficient concentration of antimicrobial compounds, they could protect the nestlings from harmful bacteria.

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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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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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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.

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Lure Pollinators With Fungi

From the region that gave us pollination by cockroaches and dung beetles, here's another of Nature's peculiarities: a plant that relies on a fungus as well as a pollinating insect.