Wild Things: Life as We Know It

Honeyeater birds, sea slugs, tree frogs, and more

(Groovnick / Flickr)

Gourds on the Go

(Cheryl Carlin)
Hey, Cinderella, pumpkins really do travel well. A new genetic analysis of 147 species of the gourd family (Cucurbitaceae) by the University of Munich suggests that gourds originated in Asia and floated across oceans to other continents. In the past 60 million years, gourds reached and took root in South America, Australia and Africa multiple times and colonized Madagascar—home to a cornucopia of gourd species today—on 13 separate occasions.

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