, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 123-132

First online:

Hooks for mammal pollination?

  • F. Lynn CarpenterAffiliated withEcology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California

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Two species of Banksia (family Proteaceae) studied in Australia were shown to be pollinated by small, non-flying mammals rather than by birds as previously thought, and to possess several adaptations appropriate for mammal-rather than bird-pollination: odor, troughs that channel excess nectar to the ground for attraction, open inflorescence structure for nectar accessibility, hooked wiry styles for effective pollen transfer, crepuscular and nocturnal nectar and pollen presentation, and copious nectar. This apparently is the first documentation with quantified data of pollination by non-flying mammals, although many other probable examples exist.