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2017-06-01, 10:37

Fig Pollination May Surprise You

An interesting article by Ben Crair, in The New Yorker, called 'Love the Fig' explains how figs get pollinated and how figs are not fruit at all but flowers. Laughing out loud

"All kinds of critters, not only humans, frequent fig trees, but the plants owe their existence to what may be evolution’s most intimate partnership between two species. Because a fig is actually a ball of flowers, it requires pollination to reproduce, but, because the flowers are sealed, not just any bug can crawl inside.* That task belongs to a minuscule insect known as the fig wasp, whose life cycle is intertwined with the fig’s. Mother wasps lay their eggs in an unripe fig. After their offspring hatch and mature, the males mate and then chew a tunnel to the surface, dying when their task is complete. The females follow and take flight, riding the winds until they smell another fig tree. (One species of wasp, in Africa, travels ten times farther than any other known pollinator.) When the insects discover the right specimen, they go inside and deposit the pollen from their birthplace. Then the females lay new eggs, and the cycle begins again. For the wasp mother, however, devotion to the fig plant soon turns tragic. A fig’s entranceway is booby-trapped to destroy her wings, so that she can never visit another plant. When you eat a dried fig, you’re probably chewing fig-wasp mummies, too."

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I love the illustration in the article by Rui Teneiro!

After posting this I looked up the artist and he lives in Stockholm and went to Konstfack. Small world.

2017-06-01, 11:35

Ha, I bet some readers will never eat figs again! ;-)

Best regards, Niklas 🎈

2017-06-01, 12:26

Lol, well its just a lil extra protein that won't hurt you. I think its fascinating! I heard that there is a good documentary about it, ill have to find it and share it. 

I found this out a while ago. I realised that must have been why I never liked the taste of figs to begin with, perhaps I knew subconsciously that bugs were inside. Laughing out loud

2017-06-01, 22:13

Here's the documentary about Fig trees and Fig wasps

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