Last winter, the Royal Saskatchewan Museum set up a temporary exhibit commemorating the 100th anniversary of the extinction of the passenger pigeon. The exhibit served as a springboard for a broader examination of mass extinctions that have occurred previously in Earth’s distant past, plus also as an opportunity to reflect on the current struggles of many plant and animal species to survive in the face of humanity’s relentless manipulation and destruction of the habitat they need to thrive.
A few weeks ago, the RSM debuted another temporary exhibit focusing on pollination. An article on Insects, Flowers & Food ran in the May 28 issue of Prairie Dog. In it, we spoke with two of the show’s three curators, and talked about pollination in relation to the emergence of gymnosperms and angiosperms 450 million and 150 million years ago, and how the latter’s use of direct insect vectors to spread pollen and reproduce proved more effective than the airborne method gymnosperms had long relied on.
We also spoke about current concerns about the health of pollinator populations, and the vital role they play in the production of food both in a wilderness and agricultural setting.
The exhibit runs throughout the summer, so if you get a chance, check it out.