The flowers of some mistletoes protect from unwanted visitors by having a pollinator-specific design.
"One of the tropical species of mistletoe keeps its bright red flowers slightly closed until it is visited by a thirsty and inquisitive bird. Its visitor knows how to open them and inserts its beak into a slit in the bud. Immediately, the bud springs open and a battery of anthers flip down and strike the bird's forehead." (Attenborough 1995:117)
Learn more about this functional adaptation.
- Attenborough, D. 1995. The Private Life of Plants: A Natural History of Plant Behavior. London: BBC Books. 320 p.
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