Birds and Red Flowers

Joe Shaw
Fri, 02 Feb 2007 15:40:57 PST
Hi Gang,

Last fall there was a nice discussion about hummingbirds, red flowers, and 
related matters.  I enjoyed all the comments at the time.  I recalled a 
relevant article but didn't know where/how to find it.  Now I've found it 
and, because it is in an open access journal, you can all read the article 
online (Rodríguez-Gironés and Santamaria. PLoS Biology. 2004. 2:1515-1519).

Why Are So Many Bird Flowers Red?…

The nice thing about the article is that it clears up some aspects of what 
is known but also poses some questions.  For instance, the authors document 
the strong correlation between red flowers and bird pollinators and provide 
a crucial citation from Peter Raven.  However, they also address the 
confounding facts that many red flowers are not bird-pollinated and that 
birds may pollinate flowers of many colors.

The correlation between red flowers and bird pollinators is real, but it is 
not absolute.  The puzzle is explored in terms of natural selection and 


Conroe TX
Wet and cool all month

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