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  Re: 'Self-heading' Philodendrons.
From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at email.msn.com> on 2001.09.06 at 13:54:54(7378)
Dear Donna,

I don`t know for sure, but it could be birds, but also fruit bats, the ripe
fruit in this species are reportedly pale yellow. I have recently seen a
GREAT nature program on PTV of a BIG Philo. goeldii in the jungle canopy
(this species has fruits said to be white, a perfect color to help them be
located by animals and birds, day or night!) whose ripe fruit were eagerly
being eaten by spider monkeys, and many of the 'local names' reflect the
animals that feed on these sweet, juicy fruits, 'monkey banana', 'bat
banana', etc. We collected ripe yellow fruit of another of this group, the
huge species P. solimosense in Fr. Guyana, and the fruit taste sweet, very
'fruity', so all sorts of animals and birds probably distribute the fruit
and seeds of this group, from opossums to monkeys to bats, MANY species of
fruit-eating birds, etc. I don`t believe that the seeds MUST go through an
animal or bird to germinate, but being hard shelled and small, are perfectly
designed to pass through a fruit eating bird or animal, bats, birds and
monkeys have a notoriously quick digestion time, so the seeds would pass
through and out quickly and unharmed, and have a good chance of being
'dropped' on to a suitable location for germination, in the case of P.
leal-costae a bat or bird would pass them out probably in under 1/2 hour
into the same feeding trip and back into the bromileads while it was still
searching for more ripe friut!

I have been thinking the same thing, get a BIG bromilead, partially fill the
'cups' with dead leaves, shredded bark, a little soil, etc., and sow a
couple seeds in it and I`d BET they would do fine! The late Dr. Monroe
Birdsey had a couple HUGE Brom.`s in front of his cottage that would have
served splendidly for this purpose! Maybe we can obtain a few seeds
legally and we shall try to do it soon!!!!
In Trinidad, we have some BIG Bromileads, and some of the very specialised
fauna associated with them and found no where else are a frog, cockroach, a
scorpion,and a special small crab, not to mention the occasional snake and
lizard! Think of the fun we could have with these alone, Eduardo!
See you all later this month in Miami!

Sincerely,

Julius

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