High School Biology: Pollination Syndromes

In  recent class, I introduced my students to the concept of pollination syndromes, partly as a way of exploring an ecological concept and partly as a way of seeing an example of how science actually works.  We started by reading a rather nice article on the topic.  This particular class is engaged and enthusiastic, so that led to a vigorous and productive discussion.

I’d been planning to have the students create illustrations depicting imaginary pollination syndromes, but alas – we ran out of time.  (One of the challenges of homeschool classes is we generally have far fewer class hours than an equivalent class in a school would have.)  However, one of the students in the class decided to make an illustration of a pollination syndrome anyway.

pollination syndrome
Illustration of an imaginary pollination syndrome, posted here with permission of the student.

I love this drawing – I think it’s intriguing and adorable.  It does need some explanation, though.  In this case, the plants live on multiple levels of a terraced plateau.  Their flowers are similar to clouds (but apparently more substantial).  Gastropods feed on the flowers and the introduction of the gastropod slime causes the clouds to condense and “rain” gametes down on cloud-plants living at lower levels.  Fertilization may then occur.

Nice, huh?

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