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Avocados have what animal to thank for their existence?

A. Giant prehistoric sloths

B. Thick-billed rainforest parrots

C. South American armadillos

D. Central American Howler monkeys

A.

Lestodons were giant prehistoric sloths directly related to the sloths that live today. Weighing from 2 to 4 tons, lestodons roamed the grassy plains of South America during the Cenozoic era, eating grass and other foliage. Occasionally, lestodons ate avocados, pits and all, which is the only reason we have avocados today. The pits were then excreted large distances away from their original parent tree which allowed the plants to proliferate without competing for water and sunlight. The avocado pit is what’s called an “evolutionary anachronism,” meaning its size was favorably selected during evolution for avocado plants to reproduce. However, no sloth on today’s earth is large enough to be able to ingest and then expel such a large seed, yet the pit still exists.

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