What animals eat cycads?

What animals eat cycads?

Cycads are source of food for many animals. Larvae of certain butterflies and ants eat secretion from the leaves, cattle feeds on the leaves, while fruit bats eat seeds.

What is the habitat of Cycas?

Cycas revoluta is the most commonly cultivated species of Indian gardens. It also occurs in China, Africa, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Japan. Its natural habitat is in open, sunny, well-drained situations. It is a palm-like tree with size varies from 1-2 meters.

What are general features of Cycas?

Many cycad species are shrub-sized in stature, but some species are 20-60 ft (6-18 m) tall at maturity. The cycads typically have an unbranched central stem, which is thick and scaly. Most species grow relatively slowly and have a large, terminal rosette of leaves.

What are present in Cycas?

Both male and female cycads bear cones (strobili), somewhat similar to conifer cones. Cycads have been reported to fix nitrogen in association with various cyanobacteria living in the roots (the “coralloid” roots). These photosynthetic bacteria produce a neurotoxin called BMAA that is found in the seeds of cycads.

What animals eat cycad seeds?

Cycads that are living today have large, heavy seeds with a fleshy outer coating that suggests they rely on large bodied fruit-eating animals to disperse their seeds. Yet there is little evidence that they are eaten and dispersed by today’s larger-bodied animals, such as emus or elephants.

Is Cycas a conifer?

There are 700 living species of gymnosperms placed into four divisions: conifers (such as pines and spruce), cycads (such as the sago palm, Cycas revoluta), ginkgos (the maidenhair tree, Ginkgo biloba), and gnetophytes (such as Mormon tea, Ephedra).

What type of tree is Cycas?

Cycad (Cycas) tropical or subtropical gymnosperm (naked seeded plants), of the family Cycadaceae; more closely resembling a palm than a conifer, with an unbranched trunk covered with the remains of old leaf bases, and a crown of tough leathery leaves. The Indian subcontinent has only 5 species.

Are cycad seeds edible?

Most parts of a cycad plant including the raw seeds are highly poisonous to humans, dogs, cattle and sheep. Aboriginal people developed a method of soaking or ageing the seeds which rendered the toxins harmless and the seeds edible.

What are cycad seeds used for?

The cycad plants have a long history of use as food and medicine. In traditional Chinese medicine, cycad seeds are used to treat hypertension, musculoskeletal disorders, gastrointestinal distress, cough, and amenorrhea.


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