Avocados are arguably the greatest fruit ever (believe it or not they’re actually berries) and, like bacon, make just about everything better.
But did you know that the avocado probably should have gone extinct thousands of years ago, during the Pleistocene epoch that lasted from 2,588,000 years ago to 11,700 years ago?
Imagine a world without guacamole, or your favorite makizushi sans avocado — or an incomplete Cobb salad!
The avocado is an example of an “evolutionary anachronism” because it’s been been around since the days of mastodons, woolly mammoths, giant ground sloths and other animals that are now extinct.
Those animals fed on avocados, and one theory holds that the large pit inside the fruit — its seed — was spread via animal dung after being eaten whole, because the pit is mildly toxic.
Once the fruit was digested, the pit would be excreted in their dung and sprout new trees, so once these large animals went extinct, the avocado should have gone the way of the dodo also.
Thankfully, it didn’t!
Check out the video below from SciShow, which explains how the plant should have died off thousands of years ago!