It’s Always about Food & Sex

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We, women, sometimes complain that men only care about food and sex but nothing else (okay, also football games and gadgets). While it can be quite frustrating and disappointing sometimes, we can also try to be more sympathetic, and understand that these poor guys can really do nothing but try to meet their human biological needs. Food, sex, water and air are the four very basic biological needs that the survival of human race will become impossible if any one of these needs is not met.

It is just part of the nature. All animals know these biological needs, as well as all insects. And apparently, even orchids know this very well too. Indeed, the orchids understand this so well that the plants use these biological needs to lure different insects to work for them for free!

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The great majority of animal pollinated plants secure the services of their pollinators by providing food rewards such as nectar or pollen. However, orchids are exceptional in that perhaps as many as one third of the 30,000 or so species achieve pollination by deception. That is, they lure their pollinators to the flowers by false promises of food, but do not provide any. Most of these species are ‘food deceptive’, falsely advertising the presence of food by bright colors and sweet scents.

In an even more intriguing group of orchids, pollination is achieved by sexual deception. In these cases, male insects are sexually attracted to the flower both by the fragrances and appearance of the female insects. The males are so deceived that they attempt to mate with the flowers (a process known as pseudo-copulation, meaning false mating) and in doing so remove or deposit pollinia.

So women, may be we can learn something from the orchids huh? LOL

If you are interested in learning more about pollination by sexual deception, you should check out this great article– Pollination by Sexual Deception in Australian Terrestrial Orchids by Dr Rod Peakall.

First Photo by Dr Rod Peakall
Second Photo by Plant Nerd