Evolving long before flowering plants, cycads developed a unique method of reproduction. Lacking flowers, pollen and ovules instead develop inside a reproductive cone on separate male and female plants (8). Pollen is transferred between mature plants by the wind, or inadvertently transferred by a variety of insects, such as beetles and weevils, attracted by powerful odours emitted from the plant (8) (9). Assuming pollen reaches receptive ovules on female plants, pollination occurs, and several months later fertilisation takes place. Subsequently, the female cones expand, becoming elongate and often brightly coloured. Seeds begin to develop inside the cone, and are typically consumed by a variety of animals, including birds, rodents and bats, when ripe. A fleshy outer layer around the seed is eaten, but the actual seed is left intact, and subsequently dispersed in their scats. As they are vulnerable to desiccation, few young plants survive to maturity, but in favourable conditions older plants may live for several decades (3) (8).