Science Shines Light On Buttercup Mystery!

2011-12-14T01:01:03+05:30

A team at Cambridge University has in fact found that the phenomenon is due to the way the flowers layered petals work together to attract pollinating insects

It's a phenomenon that has perplexed generations of researchers -- why buttercups glow yellow under people's chins?
Now, British scientists claim to have cracked the mystery as to why buttercups glow yellow under people's chins -- and it has absolutely nothing to do with traditional idea that it proves they like butter.

A team at Cambridge University has, in fact, found that the phenomenon is due to the way the flower's layered petals work together to attract pollinating insects.
"Our research provides exciting insight into not only a children's game but also into the lengths to which flowers will go to attract pollinators," the 'Daily Mirror' quoted Dr Beverley Glover, who led the team, as saying.
The scientists discovered that the buttercup petal's bright and glossy appearance is the result of the interplay between its different layers.
The strong yellow reflection responsible for the chin illumination is mainly due to the epidermal layer of the petal that reflects yellow light with an intensity which is comparable to glass.
The scientists also found that the buttercup reflects a significant amount of UV light. As many pollinators, including bees, have eyes sensitive in UV region, this provides insight into how the buttercup uses its appearance to attract insects.
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