Note on Emerging Science
Air Date: Week of January 29, 2010
A nighttime camera captured the cricket emerging from an orchid blossom. (Photo: Claire Michenau and Jacques Fournel)
The birds and the bees, and the crickets? Researchers have discovered a new species of cricket that pollinates an orchid. Living on Earth’s Bridget Macdonald reports.
YOUNG: Just ahead – sure you’ve heard a cat playing the piano – but just wait till you hear what chimps can do! First this Note on Emerging Science from Bridget Macdonald.
MACDONALD: The latest buzz about pollination usually involves bees. Now, scientists have stumbled upon an unusual pollinator – an insect known for hopping instead of hovering.
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MACDONALD: Bats, bees and butterflies are known for spreading pollen between flowering plants as they hunt for nectar. But strange new relationships can blossom when a plant moves out of the range of its natural mate.
European researchers were shocked when they saw the late-night activities of a new species of raspy cricket on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean. The scientists used night-vision cameras to spy on the nocturnal cricket as it hopped out of an orchid, its head covered in pollen.
And for scientists wondering about the extent to which crickets pollinate, the familiar chorus of nighttime chirping may never sound the same. That’s this week’s Note on Emerging Science. I’m Bridget Macdonald.
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