Elephants Contribute to Far-Reaching Seed Distribution
Weighing in between 2.5 and 7 tons, the African elephant holds the record for being the largest land animal on Earth. Now these gentle giants may have just set a new record for carrying seeds farther than any other terrestrial creature: up to 65 kilometers.
Katherine Bunney, a researcher who was a graduate student in ecology at the University of Cape Town in South Africa at the time of the study, used elephant dung to see just how far elephants could transport seeds. At a sanctuary near Kruger National Park in South Africa, Bunney fed honeydew melon to elephants in order to track the seeds they consumed.
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