Plants
The Delectable Durian
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All fruits have a distinctive smell that helps advertise their presence to pollinators, but the durian tree takes this technique to extremes. Its ripe fruit can be smelled from half a kilometre away. Most strangers to the forest find the smell repulsive but locals find it invigorating and at once set out in search of the tree. They have to be quick because a large number of the forestís denizens will also be following the smelly trail.
Orangutans, squirrels and hornbills collect the fruit while they are still hanging from the tree. Mouse deer, sun bears, and even tigers eat the fallen fruit. In season, the ground below the durian is littered with torn rinds and large numbers of black seeds that some animals have spat out during their meal.

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From the treeís point of view, these are the failures: they will germinate but will not grow to any great height as they are in the shade of the parent tree. The successes are those seeds that have been swallowed. These will remain undigested in the animalís stomach and pass out in the normal manner, far away from the parent tree.
The durian is grown extensively in Southeast Asia especially in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, in which countries it is regarded as the king of fruit. It is believed to have originated in Java and Sumatra, but today Thailand is the largest producer. Connoisseurs of the fruit say that Thai durians, especially the luscious Monthong variety are the best in the world, an opinion not shared by Malaysians who claim that their durians, though smaller, have a richer flavour. Durians have been introduced into northern Australia, Hawaii, some Caribbean countries and parts of southern India.



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