NPR_ Mastodons in Manhattan_ A Botanical Puzzle

NPR_ Mastodons in Manhattan_ A Botanical Puzzle - NPR...

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NPR: Mastodons in Manhattan: A Botanical Puzzle http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=19171697 1 of 3 2/26/2008 2:05 PM February 26, 2008 Krulwich on Science by Robert Krulwich Win Rosenfeld, NPR Mastodons in Manhattan: A Botanical Puzzle Listen Now [4 min 22 sec] add to playlist Morning Edition, February 22, 2008 · Next time you're on Fifth Avenue across from Rockefeller Center in New York City, look up at the honey locust trees. There's a bunch of them lining the avenue from 52nd Street down to TGI Friday's on 48th Street. If you look closely, you will see long, spiky thorns projecting from the tree trunks, sometimes from the branches. Those thorns are no accident, says Fordham University paleoecologist Guy Robinson. He and some other biologists suspect they evolved millions of years ago to protect these trees from a predator that liked to eat honey locust bark. The thorns are there to prick or pierce the tongue of a large animal. (That's me, demonstrating their effectiveness.) What animal used to prowl around the New York metropolitan area munching bark? New York's Local Elephants
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NPR_ Mastodons in Manhattan_ A Botanical Puzzle - NPR...

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