July 10, 2007
Tiger Whiskers?
If you don't get enough plant photos on this site, try the daily photo page of the University of British Columbia. Botanists had long speculated that this plant developed its extravagantly shaped floral assemblage to attract flies for pollination. There is a link to a study there where, if you can wade through verbiage such as "electrophoretic variation in enzymes on two buffer systems: aspartate amino transferase, alcohol dehydrogenase, glutamate dehydrogenase, cytosol aminopeptidase, and triose phosphate isomerase, on lithium-borate...." you will eventually find the conclusion that this ain't necessarily so.

What impressed me, though, was the statement: "However, when fruits were mature 4 mo later, sample sizes were reduced because of damage by elephant trampling." Hey, I figure if you're going to be trampled by elephants anyway, you might as well have some fun in early life and look as goofy as you want....

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