Most a petal in the shape of a

Most flowering plants have adapted to be brightly colored or have
an intriguing smell to entice pollinating insects and animals (Spaethe, J., et al. ).The Marcgravia
evenia, however, relies on neither of those tactics. The Marcgravia evenia is a
Cuban plant that uses dish shaped leaves to attract pollinating bats by “speaking”
with the bat’s echolocation. When the Marcgravia evenia vine has ripe flowers,
a petal in the shape of a sonar dish develops just above the flower on the
vine. This petal works as an echo beacon to help attract to the flower for
pollination. Floral Acoustics:
Conspicuous Echoes of a Dish-Shaped Leaf Attract Bat Pollinators, a study conducted by German researchers found that these dish shaped
leaves increase the likelihood of being visited by pollinating bats by roughly
50% compared to other Cuban plants relying on bats for pollination.

There are a number of reasons contributing to the echo beacon adaptation
of the found on the Marcgravia evenia. Diurnally pollenated plants have adapted
brightly colored flowers to attract pollinators, however nocturnally pollenated
plants, as seen with the Marcgravia evenia, have had to adapt to attract
pollinators in the dark (Spaethe,
J., et al.). Bats have an extremely high daily
caloric need, and therefore, make many visits to flowers for nutrients. (O.
von Helversen, Y). The Marcgravia evenia grows in
relatively low abundance and must compete with other nocturnally pollinating
plants for attention from bats (Steiner). Given the three necessary and sufficient conditions for Natural Selection;
Variation, Inheritance, and Differential Reproduction, it can be hypothesized
how and why the Marcgravia evenia has evolved this ability to signal to bats (Eadie
lecture 1/18/18). The Nocturnal Bottleneck Theory is the theory that during the
Mesozoic era, many mammals became
nocturnal to avoid diurnal prey (Gerkema, Menno P. et al.). Perhaps, as a
result, plants, relying on bats (which are mammals), for pollination also adapted
to this nocturnal behavior by themselves becoming nocturnal. Without light, brightly
colored petals are of little use, so other methods of attracting pollinators
evolved. By some variation in a nocturnal plants DNA, a leaf or pedal had a
dish shape. This shape began to attract more bats because it signaled to the
bats echolocation. Because this plant was being pollinated at a higher rate, spawn
of this plant inherited the trait. This cycle continued until differential
reproduction occurred based on this variation. 

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