Like papier-maché

When Aron first showed me these images, I recall thinking that they were the product of paper–like the flowers artists craft out of coffee filters. At the time I was working on a potential title on the art of paper quilling and may have been a bit entrenched–I was shocked to discover their origin!

Scientists recently discovered, in Turkey and Iran, a solitary bee that makes a small (around one-inch long) home for her egg out of flower petals. She layers bits of the petals to form a cocoon, layers it thinly with mud, and then adds another layer of petals before filling it with pollen and nectar and a single egg, and sealing the flower–a peanut-sized husk.
Nature can be so stunning!

(images by Jerome Rozen/American Museum of Natural History; 
from NPR, first seen on Prone to Wander)

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