Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Avocados should be Extinct

You have to fertilize the dragon fruit at night? While walking down the grove road in the dark carrying my little fertilizing paint brush, I caught a couple of beady eyes in my flashlight. A scraggly possum stared at me. Not this one pictured below because I didn't have my camera. The poor little thing was terrified, but dutifully "played possum" for a few seconds, then turned and waddled into the grove. At night you hear a lot of possum rustling in the leaves; at our little stream, you can frequently find one hanging out. Possums like avocados.

So did their distant relatives, the Giant Sloths. 
Giant Sloth
Laurie posted a link to an interesting article on Facebook about why the avocado should be extinct and no -  it has nothing to do with prohibitive water costs. 
You can read it here:

"Whip up some guacamole honey. I've got the munchies."
Summing up, the article states that avocados reached their evolutionary prime in the Cenzoic era along with other megafauna like mammoths, gomphoteres and giant ground sloths. These huge creatures ate the fruit, carried the big seeds around in their guts relatively undigested and pooped them out elsewhere, out from under the tree canopy where the young tess could get sufficient light to thrive. They speculate that jaguars could have swallowed the seed too because their jaws and throats are equipped to swallow large chunks of meat. If it were up to me, I'd prefer to have my fruit swallowed by a handsome jaguar rather than a gomphotores. The gomphoteres looks like an accident along the evolutionary lines toward the elephant. Kind of an unattractive and questionably useful snout thing going on up front. But as Barlow writes in "Haunting the Wild Avocado" "...from an avocados perspective, a big mouth is a big mouth and a friendly gut is a friendly gut."

After the extinction of the megafauna, mankind seems to have picked up the slack becoming the seed carrier and planters. 


After reading the Smithsonian article, I could picture our grove with these huge beasts snuffling around and grazing their way through the trees. You wouldn't catch me out at night on a fertilizing expedition.

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