Wild Things: Life as We Know It

Hummingbirds, birch trees, queen bees, northern quolls and more…

Northern quolls, cat-size Australian marsupials (FLPA / David Hosking / AGE Fotostock)


Birch trees
(Cheryl Carlin)
Birch trees borrow bug repellent. Rhododen­drons emit airborne compounds that keep away weevils, moths and aphids. Scientists in Finland found that nearby silver birches absorbed repellent in their leaves, later released it—and suffered less pest damage than other birches. It’s the first time such interactions have been seen in a forest.

Learn more about rhododendrons at the Encyclopedia of Life.


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