Perfume: the ultimate communication tool

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Succesful communication by the flower, the bee has been tricked into transporting the flower's pollen

Communication can take place in many ways. People will do it mostly by means of sound, often hyper-enthusiastic. Some animals babble as well, but most communication in nature is through color or odor. Using color and shape a flower will transmit a clear message to a bee: I have tasty nectar for you! The bee will lovingly fall for this trick, will travel from flower to flower, and so the plant gets its way, fertilization is a fact. Butterflies are the champions in communication. They are often beautifully colored, but many butterflies can also perceive ultraviolet light. If you illuminate them with ultraviolet light, then you can observe just how spectacular the patterns on the wings appear. The reason for this visual extravaganza: selecting the perfect partner, of course! Smell also works well, especially over long distances. Just take notice of the moths under a lamp on the porch during evening hours. Either they will sit with hairy bums up in the air (the ladies busy secreting attractants, so called pheromones), or they frantically wave their plume-like antennae from side to side (the gentlemen looking for a suitable lady). Partner-selection in action. Humans are not much different. Sweaty odors repel, but expensive perfumes will often lead to pair bonding, especially on beaches or in a nightclub!

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