evolution

There might have been a wasp in your fig – but don’t throw it away!

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Although we like to focus our attention on plants, we can’t really discuss their life without also discussing the way plants interact with their pollinators. There are plenty of weird relationships out there, including those involving flowers that fake it, and stories of nectar thieves. But one of the weirdest has got to be the case of figs and self-sacrificing wasps.… Read more

Not to stimulate cats, they said

Reading Time: 4 minutes

This post is inspired by two great friends. One, VL, who makes it her job to alert me of any and all of the cat-science news and sent around a paper about Cat Mint aka Nepeta spp., and the evolution of the chemicals – nepetalactones – that make cats go crazy.

And another, FM, who read this part of that paper’s abstract:

Most likely, the adaptive function of nepetalactones in Nepeta is to protect against herbivorous insects, not to stimulate cats […]”

And responded jokingly that he preferred his science with a little less opinion.… Read more

In the Beginning there was…

Reading Time: 2 minutes

What you think happened in the beginning might depend a bit on your perspective.

In the beginning, many would say, there was the Big Bang.

But, in case the title of our new blog hasn’t given it away, we’re not physicists, and we’re much more interested in the beginning of the planet of the plants.

So let’s jump forward about 12 billion years shall we?
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