Plants and the art of disguise

Plants and the art of disguise

When you look at Tom Hanks transform into the character of Forest Gump or Robin Williams into Mrs. Doubtfire, you are enthralled to see how the protagonist can mimic a completely different character with such ease and finesse. However good these fine actors are, there are better-mimicking geniuses in the world of plants and animals. 

There are many species of plants that excel in mimicking animals and this is done for various reasons. In the context of evolution and biology, plant mimicry is a phenomenon where plants evolve to resemble another organism physically. Sometimes, plants can resemble another plant species and in some cases, plants can also mimic insects. The branch of mimicry where plants mimic insects is called Pouyannian Mimicry. Most of the time, plants mimic animals as a way to survive and sustain. Sometimes it can be to protect them from herbivores, sometimes to attract pollinators or to escape being weeded.

In this series, we explore some of the finest examples of plants that mimic insect behaviour.

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