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Today I learned that my parents mislead me when they taught me about the "birds and the bees" - there are over 200,000 species of animals that act as pollinators, and even the wind acts as a pollinator.


What is pollination? Pollination is the transfer of pollen from the male to the female parts of a flower, or from the male parts of one flower to the female parts of another flower of the same species. It occurs when pollen is moved within a single flower or between flowers by an animal, usually an insect, or by the wind.

What is the biological function of pollination? Essentially, it is what allows a plant to reproduce and to produce fruit. Pollination is necessary for fertilization; a single flower may need multiple pollinator visits to ensure that it will produce full-bodied fruit and a full set of seeds capable of producing new plants of that species.

How important are animal pollinators compared with wind pollination? Almost 90% of all flowering plants rely on animals, rather than the wind, for pollination.

Which animals are pollinators? Over 200,000 species of animals act as pollinators. The vast majority of animal pollinators are insects such as beetles, bees, ants, wasps, butterflies and moths; of these, bees pollinate the largest number of plant species. About 1,000 species of pollinators are hummingbirds, bats, and other small mammals.

Primer on Pollination and Pollinators

What did you learn today?


Original posting by Braincrave Second Life staff on Nov 9, 2010 at http://www.braincrave.com/viewblog.php?id=376

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