University of Utah scientists discovered a strange method of reproduction in primitive plants named cycads: The plants heat up and emit a toxic odor to drive pollen-covered insects out of male cycad cones, and then use a milder odor to draw the bugs into female cones so the plants are pollinated.
The story from Science Daily goes on to say:
Terry showed that one species of thrips — Cycadothrips chadwicki — pollinates the Macrozamia lucida cycads.In the new study, she discovered the hot, smelly details of how that happens.
"These cycads heat up, and associated with that heating is a huge
increase in volatile fragrances emitted by the cone," Terry says. "It
takes your breath away. It’s a harsh, overwhelming odor like nothing
you ever smelled before."
"Think of a guy with too much after shave," Roemer says.
Well. It’s clearly not "smelly" to a certain Cycadothrips chadwicki we know.Posted by Amy Stewart on October 8, 2007 at 2:34 pm, in the category It's the Plants, Darling.