POLLEN: DARWIN'S 130 YEAR PREDICTION
Elementary Science - POLLEN
How long does it take for science to find an answer to a problem?
On January 25, 1862, naturalist Charles Darwin received a box of orchids. One flower, the Madagascar star orchid, fascinated him. It had an 11.5" nectary, the place where flowers make nectar, the sweet liquid that insects and birds eat. How, he wondered, did insects pollinate the orchid? It took 130 years to find the answer.
After experiments, he made a prediction. There must be a giant moth with a 11.5" proboscis, a straw-like tongue. Darwin died without ever seeing the moth, which was catalogued by entomologists in in 1903. But still no one had actually observed the moth pollinating the orchid.
In 1992, German entomologist, Lutz Thilo Wasserthal, Ph.D. traveled to Madagascar. By then, the moths were rare. He managed to capture two moths and released them in a cage with the orchid. He captured the first photo of the moth pollinating the flower, as Darwin had predicted 130 years before.
Backmatter includes information on the moth, the orchid, Charles Darwin, Lutz Wasserthal. Also included is Wasserthal's original photo taken in 1992.
MOMENTS IN SCIENCE COLLECTION
This exciting series focuses on small moments in science that made a difference.
- BURN: Michael Faraday's Candle
- CLANG! Ernst Chladni's Sound Experiments (2019 NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book)
ECLIPSE: How the 1919 Eclipse Proved Einstein's Theory of General Relativity (Fall, 2019)
About the Author
Children's book author and indie publisher Darcy Pattison writes award-winning fiction and non-fiction books for children. Five books have received starred PW, Kirkus, or BCCB reviews. Awards include the Irma Black Honor award, five NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books, two Eureka! Nonfiction Honor book, two Junior Library Guild selections, two NCTE Notable Children's Book in Language Arts, a Notable Social Studies Trade Book, an Arkansiana Award, and the Susannah DeBlack Arkansas Children's History Book award. She's the 2007 recipient of the Arkansas Governor's Arts Award for Individual Artist for her work in children's literature. Her books have been translated into ten languages.
With over 25 years' experience in illustration and design, illustrator Peter Willis continues to be as enthusiastic and passionate about his work as ever. His illustrations have palpable character, bringing them to life through his craft and quirky approach. He lives in northeast England with his wife and daughter. Willis is the illustrator of the Moments in Science series. The first four books have been translated into simplified Chinese; the first six books will be translated into Korean. Peter is also the illustrator of THE NANTUCKET SEA MONSTER: A Fake News Story, a Junior Library Guild Selection, a 2018 NCTE Notable Children's Book in Language Arts, and translated into Korean. Peter Willis brings humor to the story, but he also manages to convey accurate information about matter and its physical properties.