Calvaria tree

Michael O'Donnell michael.odonnell at MAIL.CC.TRINCOLL.EDU
Wed Feb 28 21:55:12 EST 1996


David Hershey wrote:

>Does anyone know the scientific name or a good reference on the Calvaria
>tree from the Isle of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean?
>
>The text, Biology: Life on Earth, by Audesirk and Audesirk mentioned that
>it is endangered because its hard seed coats had to be worn away by the
>dodo bird gizzard before they would germinate. Of course, the dodo was
>made extinct about 1681 so only 300-plus year old Calvaria trees exist in
>nature.

The original article that discussed the mutualistic relationship between
Calvaria major and the dodo is:
Temple, S.A. 1977. Plant-animal mutualism: Coevolution with dodo leads to
near extinction of plant.  Science 197:885-886.

However, Witmer, M.C. 1991 in Oikos 61:133-137,  argues against obligate
mutualism by providing evidence for seeds that germinate without the
abrasion in bird guts, and for Calvaria trees less than 300 years old.


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