Friday, January 27, 2012

Fun Facts Friday - What Am I?

Did you know there’s a species of plant that smells like a rotting corpse?
The rafflesia (rah-FLEEZ-ee-ah), also known as the meat or corpse flower starts off like a brown, cabbage-like lump, but once it’s in full bloom it’s 3 feet across, and weighs up to 36 pounds!

The Biggest Stinker

The arnoldii species of rafflesia, found in Sumatra, is the biggest known flower in the world. However, the petals on this one aren’t typical. Each blossom has five meat-red, fleshy petals with white or cream coloured spots. These spots look like itchy, raised mosquito bites. If you were to peer deep inside the flower, you would see a round disk with plump spikes poking from it. But hold your nose cause this beauty reeks like rotting flesh.

The Stinky Trickster

Why do you think the rafflesia smells so bad?

a) to scare away animals
b) to attract flies
c) to help spread it’s pollen

If you guessed b and c, you’re right!

Mother fly thinks this big, stinky, mound is a pile of decaying flesh. It should make a good place to lay her eggs, so her larvae can feed on it once they’re hatched. But she’s wrong. The rafflesia is tricking her. As the fly wanders around inside the flower, pollen is getting stuck on its feet and back. When she visits another rafflesia, perhaps one even more stinky, the pollen will be deposited into the new flower. This is how the rafflesia’s reproduce and seeds can now begin to grow. Once the seeds mature, small animals such as squirrels and tree-shrews eat and spread the seeds around the forest floor. These seeds now have a chance to become big, reeking, piles of fleshy petals, too.

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5 comments:

MiaB said...

That's a really cool fact... I did not know that. Thanks for stopping by my blog and following. I followed you back :)

~MiaB
www.mamamiasheart2heart.com

Marie said...

I have heard of these, it's really fascinating!

Visiting from Friendship Friday :-)

Marie
Bonkers in Barnhart

Frazzled Mama said...

Hello, I'm stopping by and following you from the Hoppin' Weekend Blog Hop. I hope you'll check out my blog Frazzled Mama at http://frazzled-mama.com and follow me back. I hope you have a great weekend.

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Monica said...

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