Pollination by Animals:
Many animals other than insects like birds, squirrels, bats, snails, etc., also act as useful agents of pollination. Depending on the nature of the animals it is of the following types:
(1) Ornithophily or Pollination by Birds- The common birds that bring about pollination are the hummingbirds, sunbirds, and honeyeaters. Such birds are usually of small size but with a long beak.
Ornithophilous flowers differ in the following respects from entomophilous flowers:
- Flowers are scentless.
- Flowers are usually large in size and brightly colored.
- Corolla is tubular and funnel-like.
- Production of a copious and mucilaginous nectar.
Hummingbirds can take half of their body weight of nectar in a single day. The nectar serves as a drink rather than food to the bird. The sticky pollens adhere to the body of the bird. More than 100 species of Australian plants are bird-pollinated.
(2) Chiropterophily- Pollination by bats is called chiropterophily. Flowers of Kigelia pinnata, Durio, and Anthrocephalus are pollinated by bats. Bats have been found transporting pollen over distances up to 30 km.
(3) Malacophily- Snails bring about pollination in certain aroids and snake plants. This type of pollination is called malacophily.