My protective mother went to great lengths to impress upon me as a child that apple seeds were poisonous. Science confirms my mother’s wisdom.
So how come? I mean to say, from an evolutionary perspective, why would apple seeds be poisonous? Was it part of a grisly scheme by the apple trees to trick our forebears into eating their fruit and then nourishing their seeds on the rotting remains of our poisoned carcasses? (shudder)
Or maybe it was just a seed distribution mechanism. The tree’s “thought” being that we humans would take the apple away, eat the delicious fruit, and then toss the seed-filled core somewhere far away from the parent tree. Is that it?
Also, are there any plants that really do fertilize their seeds with the bodies of animals foolish enough to eat them?