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The More You Know: Avocados Shouldn’t Exist

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada / MIX 103.7

Who doesn’t love a nice delicious avocado? Canadians eat 250 million tonnes of them every year and if it weren’t for how delicious they are they wouldn’t have survived the past 10 thousand years.

avocado-on-a-wooden-table

Millions of years ago in the Pleistocene Epoch these fruit (yes they are a fruit) were a primary part of the diet of Pleistocene megafauna like the Ground Sloth. Avocado unlike other fruits which are packed with sugars are packed with fibre which was great for the diet of these humongous creatures; while the avocado was great for the megafauna the giant guts of the megafauna was great for the avocado.

ia_sloth_reconstruction

During the Pleistocene most of south america and even as far north as Nevada was home to rain forests; the tall trees of the rain forest blocked most of the sunlight from new avocado seedlings so these fruit depended on the nutrients from the digestive track of large animals to survive. This is why avocado seeds are so big, so they could survive the digestive track of these huge animals and even pick up the required nutrients.

Valdivian_temperate_rainforest

Near the end of the Pleistocene humans began roaming the Americas and enjoying the meat of the huge megafauna of old eventually driving animals like the ground sloth to extinction. Without it’s huge friends the avocado should have died out; but because of human ingenuity we began farming these delicious little morsels making sure they got everything they need to grow. The first group of people to farm them was the Aztecs. Avocado comes from the Aztec word “ahuacatl” which means testicle….. they called them testicle fruit.

Paleo-Indians-burying-the-deceased

Fast forward to the year 2016 and we have our delicious green creamy fruits with giant seeds waiting for giants stomachs that will never come.

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