biology zoology blog benno meyer rochow bubbles, froths, and foams

Bubbles, Froths, and Foams

The spittlebug is but one example

For years I had been seeking an opportunity to test my idea that the foam spittlebug nymphs surround themselves with, serves these insects not just as a deterrent to predators or to avoid desiccation, but has an additional important function as well. And finally during a research stay at the Chinese Academy’s Institute of Zoology in Beijing I got my chance. —>—>

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biology zoology blog benno meyer rochow honey bees and our food

Honey Bees and our Food

Can we survive without bees, the chief pollinator?

The great Albert Einstein, although disputed by some, is often quoted to have famously stated that if there were no bees around any more, humans would have only 4 years to survive. Whether or not he actually had made such a statement, these days honey bees are very much in the news as reports of a decline in bee populations come in from various parts of the world. —>—>

biology zoology blog benno meyer rochow in warfare with odours flower smell

Warfare with Odours

Do flowers smell to repel or to appeal?

Plants don’t like to be eaten and all of us know that therefore they use a number of tricks to minimise losses inflicted on them by herbivores and kin. Spikes, spines, needles, spicules, thorns and barbs as well as toxic substances in leaves, stems, and fruits are some of the better-known measures with which plants increase their unpalatability and thus their survival. However, not only do plants like not to be eaten, but they also have to make sure that their valuable pollen is not stolen by pollen eaters. —>—>