Dating the origin of the orchidaceae

Flies or bees are lured into the pouch due to the bright colors of the flowers, try to land, fall into a fluid-filled bucket, and in the process of climbing out of the pouch, the hapless pollinator gets the flower's pollinium (pollen packet) glued to its abdomen (or elsewhere).

This "contrivance" is the most commonly cited as evidence for ID, since it's a multistep process.

The origins of these plants date back millions of years.

Exactly how old the family is, however, was a longstanding subject for debate, given that there were no remains in the ancient fossil record to work with.

That is until recently, when scientists conducting research through Harvard University made an extraordinary discovery [1].

Paradoxically, this particular sphinx moth has never been observed feeding on the orchid in the wild.

In 1992, observations were made of the moth feeding on the flower and transferring pollen from plant to plant with both videos and stills.

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