Forget about bright and flashy colors when it comes to pollination. New research has revealed that certain plants are now "talking" to attract bats to their location.
Two Cuban plants, Marcgravia evenia and Marcgravia holtonii, have apparently developed dish-shaped leaves with sonar-like qualities, reports National Geographic.
It's not uncommon for plants to use bats for pollination, but most of these species have flat-shaped leaves.
When bats call out during flight, sounds are bounced right back to the animals, if they hit plants that have what researchers now identify as echo beacons. Such beacons have increased the amount of pollination due to faster location identification by the bats.
Bats also have the ability to identify the same sound produced by a plant, from any direction, and because of this, the number of visits to a certain species also increases, the researchers noted in a recent report published in Science.
During the study, bats were trained to locate nectar feeders without knowing whether or not they were from a flat leaf, curved leaf or no leaf at all. The curved leaf, as it turned out, dominated the other two.
"We have looked at two [bat pollinated plants] and found amazing things. We are expecting to find many more. I think the acoustic world out there is just waiting for us," researcher Marc Holdereid told National Geographic.