Concept

Sideroxylon grandiflorum

Summary
Sideroxylon grandiflorum, also known as the tambalacoque or dodo tree, is a long-lived tree in the sapote family Sapotaceae that is endemic to Mauritius. Description The fruit of Sideroxylon grandiflorum is analogous to a peach. They are both termed drupes because both have a hard endocarp, or pit, surrounding the seed. The plant itself superficially resembles the unrelated Plumeria, but the dodo tree's flowers and fruit are cauliflorous. Ecology In 1973, it was thought that the species was becoming extinct. There were supposedly only 13 specimens left, all estimated to be about 300 years old. The true age could not be determined because tambalacoque has no growth rings. Stanley Temple hypothesized that the dodo, which became extinct in the 17th century, ate tambalacoque fruits, and only by passing through the digestive tract of the dodo could the seeds germinate. Temple (1977) force-fed seventeen tambalacoque fruits to wild turkeys. Seven of the fruits were cru
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