Elephants and Torchwoods: Who Needs Who? | Londolozi Blog


Over the last month the Torchwood trees (Balanites maughamii) have been producing fruit. These small brown fruits can fall from a height of up to 25 m from the top of a tall Torchwood tree and often accumulate at the base. However, when one looks around Londolozi, these trees do not grow in dense stands close together where all of the seeds fall – the trees are usually in isolation, because something is moving them. Torchwood trees form an essential home to a myriad of smaller animals, like this tree agama. However, they are not the only animals that depend on them. Recent studies have suggested that elephants are important in the germination of these trees. The fruits contain a flammable oil (hence the name) and, when ripe, have a particularly foul smell, a smell that I can only compare to old socks. Nevertheless, when they fall to the ground animals relish them – nyalas, kudu and other antelope but elephants in particular. It seems clear that elephants find these small fruits from

Origen: Elephants and Torchwoods: Who Needs Who? | Londolozi Blog

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