Panthers as Seed Distributorsby@scientificamerican

Panthers as Seed Distributors

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It is well known that bees carry pollen from flower to flower, and that eggs of marine animals are often carried long distances in the stomachs of aquatic birds. A very curious instance of this kind, showing how vegetable species may be diffused by means which no botanist, however acute, would be likely to think of, is mentioned by Mr. Alfred Smee, who states that, attached to the skin of a panther recently shot in India, were found numerous seeds, each of which had two perfect hooks, manifestly designed to attach themselves to foreign bodies. As the panther moved about it collected the seeds on the skin and carried them about wherever it went; but when it rubbed against the shrubs, it of necessity brushed some off, and thus distributed them. One of the seeds produced a handsome plant, and beautiful clusters of tubular flowers. It was immediately recognized to be the Martynia diandra—a plant which, although introduced into England as far back as 1731, has scarcely ever been cultivated, although it has been commented on by botanists and other writers.
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