Why Avocados Shouldn’t Exist According to Evolutionary Science

I love avocados, everybody does, don’t you? Well, according to evolutionary science they shouldn’t exist!

A hundred grams of avocado is rich in several B vitamins and vitamin K, with good content of vitamin C, vitamin E and potassium, and about 75% of an avocado’s energy comes from fat, most of which (67% of total fat) is monounsaturated fat as oleic acid, this is the good fat guys.

Because of this is not hard to imagine that studies showed that American avocado consumers had better overall diet quality, nutrient levels, and reduced risk of metabolic syndrome.

Also high avocado intake was shown in one preliminary study to lower blood cholesterol levels.

In other words, avocados are great.

But… Should they exist? How would wild avocado in nature survive without human intervention?

In 1982, evolutionary biologist Daniel H. Janzen concluded that the avocado is an example of an ‘evolutionary anachronism’: a fruit adapted for ecological relationship with now-extinct large mammals (such as giant ground sloths or gomphotheres).

Most large fleshy fruits serve the function of seed dispersal, accomplished by their consumption by large animals. There are some reasons to think that the fruit may have coevolved with Pleistocene megafauna to be swallowed whole and excreted in their dung, ready to sprout.

However, no contemporary native animal is large enough to effectively disperse avocado seeds in this fashion.

What does evolution tell us?

The currently accepted theory about how avocados are still here is that during the ages we co-existed with large mammals we started to cultivate the trees of this delicious fruit and we did since then.

The megafauna went extinct but we kept the tree alive outside of its original ecosystem.

The awesome Youtube channel SciShow shared recently this video about why avocados shouldn’t exist.

Source: http://www.avocadosource.com/WAC4/WAC4_p077.pdf

N. Gentile

Software engineer, science lover. Collaborated in several European Space Agency (ESA) projects and European Commission scientific R&D projects mainly related to earth observation. Currently working in video-game behaviour forecasts for one of the most influential companies of the industry.

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