Neotropical Anachronisms: The Fruits the Gomphotheres Ate

  title={Neotropical Anachronisms: The Fruits the Gomphotheres Ate},
  author={Daniel H. Janzen and Paul S. Martin},
  pages={19 - 27}
Frugivory by extinct horses, gomphotheres, ground sloths, and other Pleistocene megafauna offers a key to understanding certain plant reproductive traits in Central American lowland forests. When over 15 genera of Central American large herbivores became extinct roughly 10,000 years ago, seed dispersal and subsequent distributions of many plant species were altered. Introduction of horses and cattle may have in part restored the local ranges of such trees as jicaro (Crescentia alata) and… 

Potential disruptions to seed dispersal mutualisms in Tonga, Western Polynesia

There is now no avian disperser in Tonga for plant species whose fruits are too large to be swallowed by Tonga’s largestextant frugivorous bird (D. pacifica) yet display fruit characteristics suggesting bird was likely to have been their predominant vertebrate dispersal in pre-human times.

Seed dispersal by Galápagos tortoises

Galapagos tortoises are prodigious seed dispersers, regularly moving large quantities of seeds over long distances, which may confer important advantages to tortoise-dispersed species, including transport of seeds away from the parent plants into sites favourable for germination.

Climate predicts the proportion of divaricate plant species in New Zealand arborescent assemblages

The distribution of divaricate plants suggests they cope with frosty, droughty environments better than most other elements of New Zealand's arborescent flora.

The ecological role of the Bonobo : seed dispersal service in Congo forests

This new project concludes that there is little functional redundancy between frugivorous mammals of the Congo, which face severe human hunting pressures and local exctinction, and the defaunation of the forests, leading to the empty forest syndrome, is critical in conservation biology.

Parks of the Pleistocene: recreating the Cerrado and the Pantanal with megafauna 1

In the past few years, several researchers have proposed the introduction of large predators and herbivores to facilitate the reconstruction of natural ecosystems. The introduction of wolves, bears,

A New Tortoise from the Pleistocene of Argentina with Comments on the Extinction of Late Pleistocene Tortoises and Plant Communities

  • F. Agnolín
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Paleontological Journal
  • 2021
The fossil record of terrestrial tortoises in Argentina is patchy. The aim of the present contribution is to describe a new species of the genus Chelonoidis coming from the Middle Pleistocene of

A review of research on the cycad genus Ceratozamia brongn. (Zamiaceae) in Mexico

The low level of divergence of ITS sequences among taxa to the north of the Trans-Mexican Neovolcanic mountain range suggests a pattern of recent, and perhaps rapid, speciation.

Chapter 2: Introduced herbivores restore Late Pleistocene ecological functions

Large-bodied mammalian herbivores dominated Earth’s terrestrial ecosystems for several million years before undergoing substantial extinctions and declines during the Late Pleistocene (LP) due to

The Sizes of Vertebrate-Dispersed Fruits: A Neotropical-Paleotropical Comparison

  • A. Mack
  • Environmental Science
    The American Naturalist
  • 1993
In eight pantropicai, endozoochorous plant families, the Old World representatives tended to have more taxa with larger fruits than the New World representatives, which suggests that the evolution of large fruits and seeds might be more tightly constrained in the Neotropics owing to the relative scarcity of large frugivores there.

Megaherbivores and Southern Appalachian Grass Balds

The persistence of the grass balds of the southern Appalachians represents an ecological enigma and a conservation dilemma. These high altitude treeless expanses, well known to native Americans and


Bat-generated seed shadows of two mature Andira inermis (W. Wright) DC. trees in the deciduous forest lowlands of Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica, are highly hetero- geneous; very unequal numbers of


Wide geographical ranges of this tree and members of the frugivore assemblage, use of other food resources by common foragers, richness of the assemblages, variation in species visitation at individual trees, irregular annual fruit production, and obvious "inefficiency" of the dominant dispersal agents from the perspective of the plant suggest that Tetragastris has a generalized dispersal strategy.


The horse-seed interaction sug- gests that Pleistocene horses may have contributed to both local and long-distance population re- cruitment by Enterolobium cyclocarpum, and contemporary horses certainly have the potential to do so.

How to be a Fig

The Wiebes’ chapter in this volume is the most recent review of the details of the interaction of fig wasps with figs, and stresses interactions among many parts of the system.

Relationships between Fruiting Seasons and Seed Dispersal Methods in a Neotropical Forest

The weight of fruits and seeds that fell into 75 polyethylene sheets, each 152 x 152 cm, totalling 175 m2 in area, was measured over a period of 17 months in the humid forest of Barro Colorado Island, in the Panama Canal Zone, to study the determinants of fruiting times.


While seed spitting undoubtedly lowers the quality of horses as guanacaste seed dispersal agents, the high frequency of seed spitting does not mean that the horse is necessarily a "poor" dispersal agent.


We observed feeding assemblages of birds at a Costa Rican dry-forest population of Casearia corymbosa (Flacourtiaceae) in order to distinguish effective dispersers from incidental vis- itors and to

Palm-Nut Smashing by Cebus a. apella in Colombia

Three cases are described of Cebus a. apella smashing the palm-nut of Astrocaryum chambira Burret in La Macarena National Park, Colombia. It is assumed that the monkeys were attempting to obtain food

Escape of Cassia grandis L. beans from predators in time and space.

In Central American deciduous forests, most of the seeds of the caesalpinaceous legume tree Cassia grandis are killed by the larvae of two bruchid beetles, Pygiopachymerus lineola and Zabrotes interstitialis, but the size of each seed crop is large enough to surpass the predation of these host—specific bruchids.

Predation on Scheelea Palm Seeds by Bruchid Beetles: Seed Density and Distance from the Parent Palm

This study carried out a direct test of the following two hypotheses posed in Janzen's (1971) Costa Rican study of predation by bruchids on Scheelea rostrata seeds beneath the parent palm: the farther a freshly cleaned [pile of] palm nuts] (endocarp) is placed from a fruiting parent, the lower the probability of the nuts being found by a bruchid.