Listen up, avo toast munchers.
The next time you go about smashing up your favourite green fruit, just say a little thank you to our friends, the old giant sloth.
Because it’s them we have to thank for our current avo obsession.
According to the American Museum of National History, the ancient 15” sloth enjoyed eating avocadoes whole.
As they travelled around the land throughout the Cenozoic era, they pooed out the stones and avocado fruits started to grow in new areas around what’s now North and South America.
The Lestodon (the giant sloth) was one of the few creatures at the time who could stomach eating whole avocados – stones and all.
And if it hadn’t been for them pooing out the stones, it’s thought that the fruit may have gone extinct ages ago.
Next time you eat guacamole, thank a giant ground sloth: the Lestodon! These 15-ft animals ate avocado whole, traveled, and then pooped, depositing the pits in new places. Most mammals couldn't handle large seeds, so it was up to megafauna to disperse (and fertilize!) avocados. pic.twitter.com/uBpAqQqgRg
— American Museum of Natural History (@AMNH) December 29, 2017
Unlike other fruits which can thrive simply by falling off the parent tree and being planted in the surrounding soil, wild avocados need their seeds to be dispersed in order to carry on. If they did just drop near the original plant, that plant would eventually suffocate the saplings of light and space.
Wild avos started life in Mexico and were spread about by these giant sloths and mammoths. But they all eventually died out and humans took over.
They then started tending to the fruit, actively cultivating crops with the space and light needed.
And they also set about experimenting with avo varieties.
God bless those giant sloths <3.