Animal Pollination

Pictures arranged in a wheel of a variety of animals, insects and bats, shown pollinating flowers.

Animal pollinators play a crucial role in flowering plant reproduction and in the production of most fruits and vegetables. Most plants require the assistance of pollinators to produce seeds and fruit. About 80% of all flowering plants and over three-quarters of the staple crop plants that feed humankind rely on animal pollinators.

Pollinators visit flowers in search of food, mates, shelter and nest-building materials. The energy that powers pollinator growth, metamorphosis, flight and reproduction comes from sugars in nectar, and the proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals from pollen grains.

The secret bond of the partnership is that neither plant nor pollinator populations can exist in isolation – should one disappear, the other is one generation away from disaster.

Follow the links below to learn more about these very important pollinators and the flowers they visit:

Banner: Pollinators are responsible for 1 out of every 3 bites of food you eat!

The Hidden Beauty of Pollination

Hummingbird in flight.

Pollination: it's vital to life on Earth, but largely unseen by the human eye. Filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg shows us the intricate world of pollen and pollinators with gorgeous high-speed images from his film "Wings of Life," inspired by the vanishing of one of nature's primary pollinators, the honeybee.

Read more about and see the talk and images from Louie Schwartzberg's "Wings of Life" on the TED website…