Avocados Could Have Easily Gone Extinct

By Adam Campbell-Schmitt |

Avocados are everywhere, so much so that an all-avocado pop-up is a thing that can happen. If you've lived in Southern California, especially, people just won't shut up about them. And if you live in New York, people are just catching on about not shutting up about them. And if you're like me, who has lived on both coasts, you won't shut up about how you love California avocados but you also can't understand why someone in Brooklyn would charge you $14 for smearing one on toast. The point is, humans love avocados. But we weren't the first mammals to take to the fleshy green fruit.

Related: WHY DOESN'T ARTIFICIAL BANANA FLAVOR TASTE LIKE BANANAS?

As the people at SciShow point out, the avocado's first enthusiasts were the giant sloths and armadillos of the Pleistocene Epoch, which began about 2.6 million years ago and ended a mere 11,700 years ago. Those animals ate a ton of avocados (perhaps quite literally), and in doing so also pooped out a lot of avocado seeds, thus propagating the fruits across the planet's equatorial regions. But then those animals went extinct for a variety of mysterious factors. With such a symbiotic attachment to those enormous guacamole-loving beasts, the avocado could have easily gone the way of the dodo. But thanks in part to the well-developed ingenuity and farming skills of early humans, the avocado has lived to see another age of green glory.

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