Wild Things: Life as We Know It
Orchids, Baboons, Ancient Reptiles and More...
- By T. A. Frail, Jesse Rhodes, Jessica Righthand, Brandon Springer and Sarah Zielinski
- Smithsonian magazine, September 2010
Researchers in Ecuador have discovered a new trick from a famously deceptive family of flowers. The Dracula orchid, so named because its modified leaves resemble flying bats, has a central petal that looks like the small, white mushroom where Zygothrica flies mate. The flowers even give off a fungal scent. Why? Flies that congregate on an orchid unwittingly gather pollen and transfer it to the next flower they visit.
Learn more about dracula orchids at the Encyclopedia of Life.
“Resolution of Body Temperature by Some Mesozoic Marine Reptiles,” Aurélien Bernard et al., Science, June 11, 2010
“Lord of the Flies: Pollination of Dracula Orchids,” Lorena Endara et al., Lankesteriana, April 2010
“Structure of Social Networks in a Passerine Bird: Consequences for Sexual Selection and the Evolution of Mating Strategies,” Kevin P. Oh and Alexander V. Badyaev, The American Naturalist, September 2010
“Strong and Consistent Social Bonds Enhance the Longevity of Female Baboons,” Joan B. Silk et al., Current Biology, August 10, 2010
“The Function of Bilateral Odor Arrival Time Differences in Olfactory Orientation of Sharks,” Jayne M. Gardiner and Jelle Atema, Current Biology, July 13, 2010