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Juniper2007OriginSweetApple 3

Juniper2007OriginSweetApple 3 - alongside them many animals...

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2007 January–February 47 www.americanscientist.org © 2007 Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society. Reproduction with permission only. Contact [email protected] alongside them, many animals includ- ing bear, deer and wild pig. In the for- est with these neo-apples would have developed apricots (Prunus armenai- ca) , pears (Pyrus spp.), pomegranates (Punica granatum), figs (Ficus), cher- ries (Prunus avium and cerasus) and the mulberries (Morus) . To the west and south this new, mixed “fruit forest” would have been augmented by the walnut (Juglans regia). Among the vegetation colonizing the Tian Shan came, likely via birds from the east, the ancestors of what we know as the “sweet” apple. The fruit probably then looked like a tiny, long- stalked, bitter apple something like Malus baccata, the Siberian crab. The pips may have been carried in a bird’s crop or clotted onto feet or feathers. A carrier-bird candidate is the beauti- ful azure-winged magpie (Cyanopica cyanus), which now occurs as relict but
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