r/worldnews – Chinese flower has evolved to be less visible due to people picking them

This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 72%. (I’m a bot)


The conspicuous small plant has one deadly enemy: people, who harvest the flower for traditional Chinese medicine.

“Like other camouflaged plants we have studied, we thought the evolution of camouflage of this fritillary had been driven by herbivores, but we didn’t find such animals,” said Dr Yang Niu, of the Kunming Institute of Botany, and co-author of the study in Current Biology.

“Many plants seem to use camouflage to hide from herbivores that may eat them – but here we see camouflage evolving in response to human collectors.”It’s possible that humans have driven evolution of defensive strategies in other plant species, but surprisingly little research has examined this.


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