What could be cooler than an evolutionary anachronism? It is fun to think about all of the plants on this planet that once shared their habitats with now extinct megafauna like giant ground sloths, mammoths, and gomphotheres. Well, there is a school of thought that at least some plants entered into an evolutionary relationship with these large mammals. This is especially true in the context of seed dispersal. The extinction of these animals at the end of the Pleistocene left some of these plants without seed dispersers. Their large fruits now go undispersed, often left to rot in the shade of their parent. To talk about this in more detail, (paleo)ecologist and host of the Science... sort of podcast, Ryan Haupt, for a fascinating discussion on where this theory came from and where it stands now. You may be surprised at some of the plants we talk about. This is part of a super fun crossover podcast (check out episode 241 of the Science... sort of podcast to hear me get interviewed by some of the Science... sort of team).
Music by Moneycat