Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fooling around with Mother Nature


What a headline! Tongue orchids' sexual guile: Utterly convincing


What a quote! "I rushed down to the lab, saw the wasp sperm on the flowers glowing blue under UV light and was absolutely delighted."

The story of the sexually deceptive Australian tongue orchid is fascinating. It turns out that the orchids are only pollinated by males; and while female wasps require both egg and sperm for fertilization, male wasps are produced by the female with only an egg and without the need for sperm. Therefore, by depleting the wasp world of its sperm, the orchids are guaranteeing more male wasps and more pollination. Greedy, cold and so cool! Click below to read the entire amazing tale of mother nature fooling around with mother nature, lust, biodiversity, and evolution.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/15/science/15wasp.html

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