Book – Sexy Orchids Make Lousy Lovers

For avid learners of natural history, Marty Crump’s Sexy Orchids Make Lousy Lovers: & Other Unusual Relationships is another great science infotainment book.

In my kampong there is a place called Orchid de Villa where for RM5 entrance fee you can spend the whole day looking , taking pictures and learning about the many plants, and especially the main attractions – orchids, at the farm.

Someone estimated that 10,000 orchid species employ some form of mimicry. (Mimicry is the resemblance of one organism to another, a resemblance that confers an adaptive advantage on at least one of the organisms.) One form of mimicry by orchids is having the flowers look like (and in some cases, smell like one) a female wasp or bee so that the real male insect is tricked into trying to copulate with the flowers, and in the process achieve the objective of mimicry, i.e., cross-pollination of the orchids. This is one of the bizarre insect-plant relationship so delightfully told by Marty Crump in this book. He delves into the world of unusual natural histories relating the interesting, diverse, and sometimes strange methods that the world’s species use for dealing with life.

You can read the first 20 pages of this book here. This book is a great companion to Olivia Hudson’s Dr Tatiana’s Sex Advice To All Creation which I blogged about earlier.

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