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The first flower on earth was bisexual

Josh Jackman August 2, 2017
bisexual flower Hervé Sauquet and Jürg Schönenberger with rainbow

(Hervé Sauquet and Jürg Schönenberger)

The first flower to ever exist on earth, 140 million years ago, was bisexual.

Scientists have discovered a dinosaur-age flower which was the ancestor of all flowers on earth – and it has both male and female reproductive parts.

In botanical science, flowers with both pollen-producing and seed-producing capabilities are called bisexual or – rather sweetly – perfect.

bisexual flower Hervé Sauquet and Jürg Schönenberger family tree
The flower’s family tree (Hervé Sauquet and Jürg Schönenberger)

Researchers led by Hervé Sauquet, an associate professor at France’s University of Paris-Sud, virtually reconstructed the flower, according to Live Science.

They produced a 3D image of the Mesozoic Era flower, meaning it has now been seen across hundreds of millions of years.

And it just serves to emphasise that sexualities and genders outside of the straight and cisgender have always existed in nature.

Dozens of studies have found hundreds of different species engage naturally in same-sex sexual activity, from grizzly bears to lizards.

Same-sex activity is used in the animal kingdom for many reasons, ranging from pleasure-seeking to conflict solving.

Many species form bonds for life with their same-sex partner.

For instance, many dolphins and all dwarf chimpanzees are bisexual, and penguins often exhibit same-sex behaviour.

In fact, aside from humans, the penguin is the species that most famously forms same-sex relationships.

Many different species of penguin in captivity and in the wild have partnered with a member of the same-sex.

Dozens of high-profile gay and lesbian penguin couples attract fame in zoos and wildlife preserves around the world – and studies have found they’re even better at parenting than heterosexual penguin couples, when given eggs to look after.

Same-sex pairings in penguins are so well known that even a children’s book, ‘And Tango Makes Three’, has been written about it. Sadly the book continues to be banned around the world, despite being very cute.

The Aegista diversifamilia snail, which was discovered as a species of its own around 10 years ago, was named after the global equal marriage movement.

Boasting both male and female reproductive organs, the snail was hailed as a symbol of diversity.

Simba from The Lion King, however, is not gay.

More: Animals, animals, bisexual, chimpanzee, dinosaurs, dolphins, Europe, flower, France, France, mesozoic era, nature, penguins, science, Simba, snails, the lion king

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