Life as We Know It
Pollinating crickets, the longest migration, puffed up toads and more...
- By T.A. Frail, Megan Gambino, Abigail Tucker and Sarah Zielinski
- Smithsonian magazine, March 2010
(Rogier van Vugt)
Orchids on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean are pollinated by nocturnal crickets, according to scientists who took night-vision video of the flowers. It’s the first time an insect from the cricket order has been identified as a pollinator. The raspy cricket’s head is just the right size to reach into the flower’s nectar spur.
“Tracking of Arctic terns Sterna paradisaea reveals longest animal migration,” Carsten Egevang et al., PNAS, January 11, 2010.
“Unidirectional Airflow in the Lungs of Alligators,” C. G. Farmer and Kent Sanders, Science, January 15, 2010.
“Orthoptera, a new order of pollinator,” Claire Micheneau et al., Annals of Botany, January 11, 2010.
“Turgid female toads give males the slip: a new mechanism of female mate choice in the Anura,” Bas Bruning et al., Biology Letters, January 6, 2010.