Comments on: I got to taste a kind of fruit that dinosaurs ate

    I got to taste a kind of fruit that dinosaurs ate

    Celebrating the abundance, diversity, and health benefits of food that grows on trees

    Thu, 05 Dec 2019 00:39:42 +0000

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    By: Florida Fruit Geek

    I got to taste a kind of fruit that dinosaurs ate

    Sat, 06 Oct 2018 10:32:00 +0000

    I got to taste a kind of fruit that dinosaurs ate

    In reply to .

    There are lots of the smaller-fruited pawpaw species in my area in North Florida (especially Asimina parviflora), and when their fruits ripen and drop to the ground, they disappear quickly. I assume it’s mammals eating them, most likely the numerous possums and raccoons around here. The larger-fruited pawpaw species that grows further north (Asimina triloba) might have evolved to suit the tastes of some of the larger mammals that went extinct in North America 12,000 years ago, like mammoths and giant ground sloths. My understanding is that the mammals called “possums” in Australia are only distantly related to the North American mammals of the same name, although both are marsupials. Possibly it might be the giant, flightless, fruit-eating cassowary birds that are eating fingersop fruits in Australia, since they can see the color red, and those fruits are colored bright red.

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    By: Rowley David

    I got to taste a kind of fruit that dinosaurs ate

    Sat, 06 Oct 2018 05:15:43 +0000

    I got to taste a kind of fruit that dinosaurs ate

    Fantastic information!

    What eats fingersop and pawpaw in nature today besides us. Possums? I believe both continents share the mammal.

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    By: Florida Fruit Geek

    I got to taste a kind of fruit that dinosaurs ate

    Thu, 19 Jul 2018 14:26:40 +0000

    I got to taste a kind of fruit that dinosaurs ate

    In reply to .

    Hi Andrew, thanks for commenting. I love discussions of seed dispersal and how it’s influenced animal evolution, such a fascinating topic. I’m going to spend some time reading your website, sounds like you’ve done a lot of research and thinking about this.

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    By: Andrew Melcher

    I got to taste a kind of fruit that dinosaurs ate

    Thu, 19 Jul 2018 09:39:59 +0000

    I got to taste a kind of fruit that dinosaurs ate

    I have written a couple articles on this subject. Here is a summary/teaser:

    We can still see the influence of giant dinosaurs on their plant symbiots. Just look at the giant fruits that some plant species occasionally produce. Consider the 20,000-calorie Jackfruits, and 10,000-calorie durian fruits that we occasionally see growing high up on trees in equatorial regions.

    These are not random mutants, but random throw-backs. They are plant genomes randomly trying an approach that worked for some 140-million years.

    They are relics and evidence of a time when most tall trees produced macro-fruit to feed the biggest, highest-reaching, and hence the best seed spreaders at the time, a time before birds had evolved.

    The biggest sauropods are supposed to have had a mass up to 35 times that of African elephants today.

    How did they eat enough leaves with their tiny heads and mouths?

    And how did they even strip enough leaves with their small front-of-the-mouth “pencil teeth” like diplodocus had?

    On the other hand, the small heads and pencil teeth make complete sense if the sauropods were being selected for their ability to reach and pluck the highest macro-fruit — fruit almost universally on break-away stems.

    And what is fruit, but the highly nutritious part of a plant that has evolved to attract animals that will spread the plant’s seeds? And why should we say that dinosaurs were not eating fruit, when most herbivorous reptiles (and elephants) prefer rich fruit to leaves?

    Here is a new unified theory of tetrapod evolution.

    It follows “the money”, the nutrition to explain how:

    1) The network dynamics of seed spreading caused most major events in tetrapod evolution.

    2) The advantage of animal seed spreading nourished and pulled vertibrate life out of the oceans.

    3) Larger animals were better seed spreaders, and how this network effect caused dinosaur gigantism.

    4) Once Birds became more efficient seed spreaders, they reversed the evolutionary network effect that gave rise to dinosaurs, thus eventually ending dinosaur gigantism.

    The full new theory is at:

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    By: Florida Fruit Geek

    I got to taste a kind of fruit that dinosaurs ate

    Wed, 20 Jun 2018 01:34:28 +0000

    I got to taste a kind of fruit that dinosaurs ate

    In reply to .

    Hi Ceratopsian, thanks for commenting! Great info about Gastornis – I had previously been aware of it as the carnivorous Diatryma, and I just learned that it’s been re-classified as Gastornis. And it’s news to me that it’s now considered to have likely been an herbivore, so it’s definitely a possible seed dispersal agent for fruits during the Paleocene and Eocene.

    The “dinosaur” line of reasoning that I used in this blog post all revolves around the molecular clock divergence date of 71 million years ago, during the Cretaceous. Since the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs occurred 66 million years ago, that means that for about the last five million years of the Cretaceous period, a tree with fruits like these shared the planet not only with birds, but also with non-avian dinosaurs, which were the overwhelmingly dominant category of land animal at the time.

    (Of course, this is based on the accuracy of that molecular clock divergence date). Since Gastornis fossils haven’t been found from before the Paleocene, it’s conceivable that this fruit was dispersed by avian and/or non-avian dinosaurs during the late Cretaceous, and by terrestrial avian dinosaurs like Gastornis subsequently during the Paleocene and Eocene. And probably by a changing cast of characters ever since.

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    By: Ceratopsian

    I got to taste a kind of fruit that dinosaurs ate

    Tue, 19 Jun 2018 23:48:38 +0000

    I got to taste a kind of fruit that dinosaurs ate

    Actually… the closest thing to a dinosaur that may have dined on this fruit is Gastornis. 77 million years ago, dinosaurs were already birds. This fruit existed during the Paleogene period. Gastornis is best imagined as a primitive parrot in appearance, though it is not related to any present day birds. It was a forest dweller and fossils have been found in France, Belgium, Germany and North America. It was also a flightless bird with small wings, so it is very likely that it dined on insects AND fruit. But another theory suggests it was well equipped to hunt and eat Hyracotheum, a very early ancestor of the Rhinoceros and the Horse which was the size of a small dog. The first fossil was discovered in France in 1855. It also had very large feet (16 inches long in one case and in another the feet were 11 inches wide and 13 inches long). Gastornis could grow to be up to 7 feet tall.

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    By: Florida Fruit Geek

    I got to taste a kind of fruit that dinosaurs ate

    Sun, 15 Apr 2018 20:59:49 +0000

    I got to taste a kind of fruit that dinosaurs ate

    In reply to .

    I don’t know what part of Australia it’s from. My friend has a tree growing in Orlando in Central Florida, and his tree was exposed to temperatures near and possibly slightly below the freezing point. The partially defoliated and had minor twig damage, but it’s since leafed out again and looks healthy.

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    By: Pasata

    I got to taste a kind of fruit that dinosaurs ate

    Sat, 14 Apr 2018 18:55:49 +0000

    I got to taste a kind of fruit that dinosaurs ate

    Interesting fruit. Do you know how hardy it is or in which areas of Australia it grows natively? There is almost no information available online.

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    By: Florida Fruit Geek | Les Jardins d’ici

    I got to taste a kind of fruit that dinosaurs ate

    Sun, 18 Mar 2018 17:32:06 +0000

    I got to taste a kind of fruit that dinosaurs ate

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    By: Florida Fruit Geek

    I got to taste a kind of fruit that dinosaurs ate

    Thu, 16 Nov 2017 01:07:25 +0000

    I got to taste a kind of fruit that dinosaurs ate

    In reply to .

    Hi John, thanks for commenting! I only had a few seeds, I planted them and I’m still waiting for anything to come up. Probably best for you to contact the person I got the fruits from, Larry Shatzer of Our Kids Tropicals in Winter Garden. He’s got a big, fruiting-size finger-sop tree in a pot. I was there just a few days ago, and there were still some green fruits on the tree. Larry can probably send you some ripe fruits whenever they mature.

    He might also have some seedlings available.

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