Many plants use fruit to help spread
their seeds. Fruit is brightly-colored and
attracts birds and some mammals such as
primates who eat the fruit and later deposit the
seeds in their droppings, which provides added
fertilizer for the seeds. Elephants will
eat fruit that has fallen to the ground and can
carry it many miles in their stomachs.
Squirrels eat and store nuts; birds and
bears eat berries; monkeys eat figs and
other fruits; mice eat grass seeds, all
helping different plants to get their seeds into
new places. In all these cases, the plant gives
the animal a reward of food for helping to spread
its seeds, but sometimes a plant uses an
animal without giving them anything in return.
Instead of fruit, some plants use hooks or
spines to help the seed attach to an animal’s fur
or feathers. The seeds are then carried by the
animal for a large distance before eventually
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