and now we dread stillness; we suspect it was the land
that always moved, not our ships;
Since fruits propagate by seeds, their progeny doesn’t grow far from the tree, as the proverb goes; their only chance of spreading their seeds across the land, then, are the animals who eat the fruit, along with its seeds, then “plant” those elsewhere when they poop. The avocado’s abnormally giant seed presents anything from a severe digestive hazard to a death sentence for contemporary earthly species but, apparently, avocados coevolved with ground sloths and were originally eaten by gomophotheres — elephant-like creatures that lived during the Miocene and Pliocene, between 12 million and 1.6 million years ago, who happily reaped the fruit with their hefty trunks, crunched them with their massive teeth, and passed the seeds comfortably through their oversized digestive tract.
The problem, of course, is that gomophotheres no longer roam the Earth — and yet avocados still exist.A Ghost of Evolution – the curious case of the avocado, which should no longer exist but does. (via explore-blog)
I wish I could hire someone to entertain my adorable kitten while I write final papers. I’m afraid she’s going to erase hours of agonizing work with her butt (save! save! save!) and it makes me sad to hear her chirping forlornly to herself as she bats around the sparkle ball that I don’t have time to throw for her.