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I'm curious about how plant and animal life have been able support each other throughout time and how each has evolved in a way that would help the other?

For example I have heard that plants have evolved to attract animals, such as bees in order to allow for pollination. These plants produce smelly flowers that are usually white.... or colorful, non-smelling flowers. By allowing bees to collect nectar for themselves and their hive, the plants are able to be pollinated in the process.

Earlier today I was noticing a bird hopping up branches of a tightly branched tree, which made me think of how plants and animals would support each other throughout time. Trees are usually homes for a lot of animals, including birds, so I was curious about the evolution of trees to allow for tigher canopies to protect animals from the weather/elements.

My question is, how have plants and animals influenced each other's evolution, by helping each other throughout history?

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closed as too broad by fileunderwater, kmm, WYSIWYG Jan 23 '17 at 9:40

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ This extremely vague and broad. You are basically asking about all sorts of coevolution and symbiosis, and this is a huge topic within evolutionary ecology. $\endgroup$ – fileunderwater Jan 22 '17 at 16:17
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There are probably a few cases of this and exactly how animals and plants co-evolve probably differs between different scenarios. One 'famous' example I like is between ants and acacia plants. The acacia plant has evolved to produce food for a particular species of ant and in return the ants protect it from the grazing of herbivores.

Explained better here: http://bioblog.biotunes.org/bioblog/2007/10/02/cool-bug-9-acacia-ants/

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for the information. This actually reminded me of something I heard regarding grass. It was mentioning the smell that we get from cut grass is apparently a defense mechanism that will alert certain insects to help protect the grass from predators... I believe there was mention of some sort of sound/vibration that aids this, but I could be wrong and it could just be the smell factor. $\endgroup$ – XaolingBao Jan 23 '17 at 3:28

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