Contact: Lee Siegel
University of Utah
Caption: A spiny mouse from Israel is shown spitting seeds from the desert shrub Ochradenus baccatus into its paws and onto the ground as it eats the berries. If the seeds are chewed simultaneously with the berry pulp, toxic chemicals are released. So the plant has made a normally seed-eating mouse become a seed-spitter that spreads the plant's seeds, helping it reproduce, says a new study from Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, University of Utah, University of Haifa and University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Credit: Michal Samuni-Blank, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.
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