The Atlantic

Plants Can Hear Animals Using Their Flowers

And they react to the buzzing of pollinators by sweetening their nectar.
Source: Darren Staples / Reuters

When people pose the old question about whether a tree falling in an empty forest makes a sound, they presuppose that none of the other plants in the forest are listening in. Plants, supposedly, are silent and unhearing. They don’t make noises, unless rustled or bitten. When Rachel Carson described a spring bereft of birds, she called it silent.

But these stereotypes may not be true. According to a blossoming batch of studies, it’s not that plants have no acoustic lives. It’s more that, until now, we’ve been blissfully unaware of them.

The latest experiments in this niche but increasingly vocal field come from Lilach Hadany and Yossi Yovel at Tel Aviv University. , they showed that some plants can hear the sounds of animal pollinators and react by rapidly sweetening their nectar. , they found that other plants make high-pitched noises that lie beyond the scope of human hearing but

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