Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 10:00AM
[chuck] in Pleistocene megafauna, Science, honey locust, thorns


With dense clusters of branched thorns growing out of the truck and main branches, some over 20 cm long, the honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos L.) is one of the most well-armed temperate trees around. The thorns are thought to have evolved to discourage browsing by Pleistocene megafauna. Certainly discouraged me from getting too close when I took this picture. Fascinating article about anachronistic fruits and the large, now extinct, herbivores that may have once dispersed them can be found here. [NOTE: Image was taken in Hueston Woods State Nature Preserve near College Corner, Ohio].

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