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. —>—>
Some of my older colleagues lament that the zoology students of today know everything about molecular genetics, DNA hybridization, enzymes, amino acid sequencing, etc. and nothing about animals. Exaggerated as this may be, the truth of the matter is that older traditional courses have had to give way to more modern, popular, and expanding fields like molecular genetics and biotechnology. The emphasis has certainly shifted to what is seen as applied research. —>—>
Jamaican cave flies got rhythm!
Is it surprising that I hope the Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt will hold his world records over 100 and 200 m for many years to come? Is it surprising I have a soft spot for Jamaica? I suppose not, because two of my daughters were born there. But Jamaica is not just Usain Bolt: Jamaica is famous for rum, reggae and rhythm (and bauxite, but we’ll ignore that for now). —>—>