Author: Prance, Ghillean
Source: About Time: Speed, Society, People and the Environment, 9 September 2005 , pp. 26-38(13)
Abstract:As dusk arrives by the bank of an Amazonian lake, the white flowers of the royal water lily open like stars across the water. Immediately, as they begin to open, scarab beetles start to arrive and enter the flowers to feed. The flowers are primed to open at night just as their nocturnal pollinator takes to the air. Once the beetles are inside, the flowers close up and trap the insects within. During the next day the flowers change colour from white to red, in evening they reopen and precisely as they do the pollen is released. The beetles emerge from the base of the central cavity of the flower all sticky from plant juices and the pollen adheres to them. They fly off to find another white flower, and since the water lily produces flowers every second day they will carry the pollen to a different plant and thereby crosspollinate it - a perfect example of how the timing and co-ordination of events is intrinsic to nature.
Keywords: Natural clocks
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2005-09-09
- About Time: Speed, Society, People and the Environment
Where does all the time go? Despite the burgeoning army of machines designed to save time - from cars and aeroplanes to dishwashers and microwaves - we don't seem to have any more of it on our hands. We simply fill the space we clear with more things to do - consuming more, spending more - and then look around for new ways of saving time. Being busy has become a habit - a habit that gives us high status - busy people are important people. About Time, edited by the think-tank Forum for the Future, brings together ten of the world's leading thinkers and writers, including Will Hutton, Baroness Mary Warnock, Sir Martin Rees, Ghillean Prance, Jay Griffiths (the author of the bestselling Pip Pip) and Jonathon Porritt in a collection of intriguing essays exploring the issue of time and how it relates to the environment, economy and society.
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