A Plant That Looks Like Poop and Other Sneaky Disguises
A South African herb has evolved a clever strategy to attract pollinating dung beetles.
Plants just sit there all day and look pretty, right?
That’s what they want you to think.
Many orchids and other plants are great impressionists, masquerading as insects, animals, and even poop. Such disguises help protect them from hungry herbivores, or aid with pollination and dispersing their seeds. (See gorgeous National Geographic pictures of sneaky orchids.)
People may love orchids, but many insects really, really love orchids. That’s because they can't resist their allure.
University of Arizona entomologist Katy Prudic calls some hammer orchids of Australia downright “kinky” in how they seduce wasps into pollinating.
The orchids have a central petal that resemble female thynnine wasps and give off a sexy wasp scent. Unsuspecting male wasps then swoop in to pick