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Plant Signal Behav. 2008 Jan;3(1):19-23.

Darwin's bee-trap: The kinetics of Catasetum, a new world orchid.

Author information

1
Skidmore College; Saratoga Springs, New York USA.

Abstract

The orchid genera Catasetum employs a hair-trigger activated, pollen release mechanism, which forcibly attaches pollen sacs onto foraging insects in the New World tropics. This remarkable adaptation was studied extensively by Charles Darwin and he termed this rapid response "sensitiveness." Using high speed video cameras with a frame speed of 1000 fps, this rapid release was filmed and from the subsequent footage, velocity, speed, acceleration, force and kinetic energy were computed.

KEYWORDS:

Catasetum; Darwin; high-speed photography; pollination

PMID:
19516977
PMCID:
PMC2633950

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