Darwin’s Orchid Prediction

Posted on May 23, 2008  Comments (3)

American Museum of Natural History:

Darwin first saw this astonishing orchid from Madagascar, Angraecum sesquipedale, in 1862. Its foot-long green throat holds nectar—the sweet liquid that draws pollinators – but only at its very tip. “Astounding,” Darwin wrote, of this strange adaptation. “What insect could suck it?” He predicted that Madagascar must be home to an insect with an incredibly long feeding tube, or proboscis. Entomologists were dubious: no such insect had ever been found there.

Related: High Resolution Darwin DocumentsComplete Work of Charles Darwin OnlineHow flowering plants beat the competitionWhat Are Flowers For?

3 Responses to “Darwin’s Orchid Prediction”

  1. Robin
    May 26th, 2008 @ 12:11 pm

    At first I kept trying to figure out if it was fake 🙂 Very cool. This would be a great introduction into how species adapt over time to their environment.

  2. Curious Cat: Vampire Moth Discovered
    October 28th, 2008 @ 8:14 am

    “Only male moths exhibit blood feeding, she noted, raising the possibility that as in some species of butterflies and other moths, the Russian moths do it to pass on salt to females during copulation…”

  3. Jual Anggrek
    June 11th, 2009 @ 2:41 pm

    Darwin theory may have some truth to living creatures, although not all

Leave a Reply