Hi all! New to the forum here. I just wanted to add a bit to this post. I've always been fascinated with mimicry in nature, but the answer always seems to be simply "millions of years of evolution". I have a few questions that never seem to be answered:
(1) Why the need for evolution if the plant, insect or animal was able to survive and reproduce just fine for millions of years before it was able to mimic anything else?
(2) Why would a living organism actually make it's survival totally dependant on 1 other species to reproduce, like this orchid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-h8I3cqpgnA ? Seems to me it would diversify as much as possible to increase it's chances of survival according to evolution.
(3) How does a plant know the shape, size, geometry and color of the female wasp and the chemical makeup of it's pheromones since it can't feel the shape, see or smell the female wasp? Heck, how does it even know that wasps exist?
(4) How does a species then morph itself into a copy of whatever it is it "thinks" it needs to be (seeing that plants don't think I thought :))? The wasp in this case has nothing to gain except a sex toy, so It does not need the orchid to survive. Hence the plant seems to be doing the thinking, seeing, feeling, measuring and the straight from sci-fi morphing.
(5) How does an insect know that birds will not eat bird droppings?
Could this be purely by accident or is it an example of two species designed together (and a good sense of humor :) )?
No, I completely understand natural selection. But this is specific stuff here. How did the orchid survive before it had the perfect mechanism to match this specific wasp? Any incremental change would render it useless, If it didn't have the pheromones? wouldn't work. No adhesive on the pollen? wouldn't work etc.. In order for it to reproduce it had to have all this right the first time or it would have simply died out.
Hi all! Dr Adequate, I do have more than a passing interest in science (I think science is all I put under interests in my profile).
What I'm saying is that to me natural selection does not explain what I'm seeing here.
Take sex pheromones, they are a complex chemical compound indicating a specific genome, sex and readiness to mate.
Incrimental changes in this would render it useless, not just less appealing (no wasps attracted).
Also, natural selection would dictate that the species with the broadest methods of reproducing would be the one to proliferate, not the one that narrows it's possibilities to one rare species of wasp in a specific local (looking at my yard dandilions come to mind lol!).