These three flowers may look the same at first glance. But look closer, and you might notice something different about the petals on the right. That’s because they belong not to a flower, but a fungus (Fusarium xyrophilum) that evolved to trick bees and other pollinators, Scientific American reports. This is the first known “pseudoflower,” which is a fungus that mimics all the petals of a flower, not just parts of leaves, researchers report in Fungal Genetics and Biology. The fungus’ fake flowers even release a flowerlike smell to attract insects that, instead of having a meal, end up carrying spores around, helping the deceitful invader reproduce.
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