Dried Gum Nuts

Coyotes have been foraging in the dried leaves along the paths, eating something which, until now, I hadn’t really concentrated on. Then, as I spoke to the owner of a Rhodesian Ridgeback, the dog began foraging and crunching the same stuff as the coyotes. It was gum nuts from the Eucalyptus trees!  This dog was picky about her gum nuts — some were crunched and then spat out. But some of them were crunched and swallowed.

Gum nuts are the hard woody fruit — the hardened seed container — of the Eucalyptus.

The gum nuts, which contain seed and chaff, remain on the tree after it has flowered. When they ripen, they fall off. Once on the ground, they dry out as they age. The valves in the top of the nut open and release the seed and chaff. Even before this happens, the woody seed container becomes dry and brittle and much easier to crunch open by a foraging animal. Seeds, it would seem, are nutritious, and maybe even tasty?

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  1. Trackback: Sutro Forest Ecosystem and Wildlife Habitat | Save Mount Sutro Forest

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