Breaking the rules 27/02/2013

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Breaking the rules

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Morphological adjustment among flowers and their pollinators is an essential component of life in ecosystems. This leads to one of the most beautiful mutualisms in nature: pollination by animals. Flowers provide energetic nectar to visitors, which in return carry the pollen from one flower to another, helping the plant in reproduction. However, there are floral visitors whose body does not match the morphology of the flower. Unable to access the precious nectar, the potential pollinators turn in to robbers and make a hole in the corolla tube where they can extract the nectar. This usually damages the flower, but sometimes a clumsy robber can inadvertently pollinate the flower. This video shows that when we explore nature with an open eye, we often realize the many “human” behaviours have been used by animals for millions of years.


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