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Author Topic: Hows an orchid know what a female humming birds reproductive organs look like?  (Read 3028 times)

Offline acecharly

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I read somewhere that theres a variety of orchid thats flower looks just like the reproductive organs of a certain species of female hummingbird. It uses this to attract the hummingbird which then pollenates the orchid. How can a flower ever know what these organs would look like?

Cheers

Ace


 

Offline CliffordK

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A flower doesn't ever need to see a bee or a hummingbird, or whatever.
Over time selective pressure will guide the flower to be attractive to its target pollinator.
Those genes mutations that lead it to be more attractive to the pollinator get reproduced.  Those genes that are less attractive to the pollinator don't get reproduced as frequently.

I.E.  You don't need to think about being blond.  But, if being blond conferred a reproductive advantage, then over time those genes would be systematically selected for.
 

Offline RD

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sounds similar to the bee orchid, which has evolved by natural selection to look and smell like a female bee ... http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/life/Ophrys
« Last Edit: 07/04/2012 18:31:47 by RD »
 

Offline CliffordK

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sounds similar to the bee orchid, which has evolved by natural selection to look and smell like a female bee ... http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/life/Ophrys

:-\

For honey bees, the
Queen, of course, is female.
The Drones are male, and don't leave the nest/queen.
The Worker Bees are female.  They are the ones that do the work collecting the pollen.

So...  do we have a bunch of gay bees?
 

Offline Lmnre

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FWIW:

The name "orchid" ultimately comes from Greek where it means "testicles" (see picture).
Oddly enough, vanilla is a member of the orchid family, but it's name means "vagina".
And who says that scientists don't have a sense of humor?

 

Offline RD

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So...  do we have a bunch of gay bees?


No they just think they got very lucky ...
Quote
5. Virgin queens go on mating flights away from their home colony, and mate with multiple drones before returning.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey_bee#Life_cycle

wikipedia has just introduced me to a new $10 word ...
Quote
 In this case the plant [bee orchid] attracts these insects by producing a scent that mimics the scent of the female bee. In addition, the lip acts as a decoy as the male bee confuse it with a female. Pollen transfer occurs during the ensuing pseudocopulation.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ophrys_apifera#Reproduction
 

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