According to a recent study conducted in Uganda and Madagascar, plants color their fruits to match the regional fauna, to spread their seeds. As the researchers said, in Uganda, for example, most fruits ripen to a bright red to attract the animals which would sooner notice the shiny color of the fruits among the gree leaves. In Madagascar, on the other hand, ripe fruits tend to be greener because of the lemurs’ night vision which sees brighter green nuances better than different colors.
All that because plants color their fruits in the proper color to attract the right animals to spread their seeds. As for the animals, “they don’t want to waste their time and energy on trying a fruit that turns out to be unripe and not tasty at all or nutritious at all,” as said Omer Nevo, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Ulm in Germany who conducted the study along with Canadian biologist Kim Valenta from the Duke University in Durham.
Plants color their fruits to attract right animals
When the plants color their fruits in bright colors, they actually talk with the animals, transmitting to them that their fruits are ripe enough to be consumed. When animals eat the fruits of those plants, the seeds are spread, and the plants are reproducing.
With that theory in mind, Omer Nevo and Kim Valenta studied the animals of Uganda and Madagascar to prove their hypotheses right. According to the scientists, monkeys, such as chimpanzees and baboons, as well as elephants from both Uganda and Madagascar are both more attracted by colorful fruits.
“I’m always impressed by fruits that don’t look good at all, fruits that look brown or greenish, really, really boring and dull, but their smell is amazing,” said Kim Valenta. On the other hand, “once you start hurting either plants or animals, you risk interfering with a very complicated network of interactions,” said Mevo.
In conclusion, both scientists agreed that plants color their fruits to attract the right animals that can spread their seeds.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.