I'm continuing to learn about plants and flowers through the "How to Grow a Planet" series. Last night we discovered how the development of flowering plants drove the evolution of insects and birds, and mammals, including ourselves.
Because plants needed something besides wind and water to help distribute their seeds, they developed flowers to attract birds and bees.
This is a bee's eye view of a chive flower. I didn't even realize that bees were drawn to these rather plain looking flowers.
But this particular type of bee seems to find the flower irresistible.
Later on in the evolutionary process, plants developed edible fruit to attract mammals. And then they signalled the ripeness of the fruit by changing colour. Did you know that most mammals can't even see red? They don't have the rods in their eyes to absorb that colour. Primates evolved this in response to the colour changes of ripe fruit. It benefits the plant for the primates to wait until the seeds have developed and the fruit is right. So plants that had a colour indicator were more successful. Isn't it all so amazing?
The second in the series is called "The Power of Flowers" and I highly recommend it.
I will never look at plants or flowers the same way.