Mistletoe: The Evolution of a Christmas Tradition

Why does this parasitic plant remind us of romance?

Mistletoes evolved the ability to grow not on the roots of trees, but instead on their branches. (Frankie Angel / Alamy)

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Rob Dunn is a biologist at North Carolina State University and the author of The Wild Life of Our Bodies. He has written for Smithsonian about our ancestors’ predators, singing mice and the discovery of the hamster.


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