When Triceratops, like elephants, play host to 'hitchhikers'

Dinosaurs such as Triceratops have the right mix of size and speed to deposit seeds 4.8km to 32km from parent plants.
Dinosaurs such as Triceratops have the right mix of size and speed to deposit seeds 4.8km to 32km from parent plants.PHOTO: DAVIDE BONADONNA

(NYTIMES) - In a lush, bygone landscape, a hungry Triceratops munches on low-lying ferns and cone-bearing cycad plants to power its 10-tonne frame. The animal swallows huge mouthfuls of roughage, seeds and all, before ambling off in search of new feeding grounds.

Days later and kilometres away, the Triceratops empties its bowels, sowing the seeds of the plants it ate, complete with fertiliser, in more far-flung soil than could be reached without it.

Please or to continue reading the full article.

Get unlimited access to all stories at $0.99/month

  • Latest headlines and exclusive stories
  • In-depth analyses and award-winning multimedia content
  • Get access to all with our no-contract promotional package at only $0.99/month for the first 3 months*

*Terms and conditions apply.