1
$\begingroup$

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?

$\endgroup$
1
  • $\begingroup$ 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
1
$\begingroup$

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/

$\endgroup$
1
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ 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

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.