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January 01, 2006 (Vol. 26, No. 1)

Figs and Fig Wasps

  • Biological info
  • Not for everyone
In my never-ending search for the most obscure corners of the online biological universe, I've covered sites with topic areas ranging from armadillos to pillow mites. It was with this in mind that I knew I couldn't resist a site that promised information on Fig Wasps. Having led a sheltered life, I wasn't aware that such creatures even existed (talk about your niche!), but to my amazement, I learned that there is not only one species of wasp that likes figs, but over 640 that are known. Gulp. Indeed, it is estimated that there are another 2000 or so yet to be discovered. Ever curious, I dug through the site's descriptive "Interaction of Figs and Fig Wasps" section and learned that pollination of fig trees occurs as a result of the action of Fig Wasps, and that these species (Figs and Fig Wasps) have been evolving together for the past 90 million or so years!
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