Chris_huh/Wikimedia Commons

Plants evolved scents, colors to say ‘eat me’ to lemurs, primates

Plants can’t walk, so they depend on hungry animals to eat their fruits and disperse their seeds either by spitting or pooping them out in new locations. Plants also can’t talk, so they depend on nonverbal signals to flag down these animals, and new evidence suggests certain plants evolved ways to communicate with specific animals based on that species’s sensory capacities or physical abilities, The New York Times reports. Researchers found that ripe figs emit potent scents to flag down night-foraging lemurs in one of Madagascar’s national parks, they report this week in Science Advances. Other plants in Uganda may have evolved vibrant red and orange fruits, which are easier for primates and birds to spot, the same team reported last month in Biology Letters.

Latest News