Why are we drawn to baobab?
Posted On July 18, 2021
We’re eating bananas, berries, peaches and mangoes, but we’re also finding the fruit is drawing our attention to our eyes.
This has scientists at the University of Queensland and the Australian National University investigating what we’re looking at when we’re eating the fruits and why.
They believe the fascination for baobabs may be tied to the colour.
They have recently analysed more than 1,000 images of baobas and have found they are much more colourful than the average banana.
“We’ve found baobap colours to be more distinct than the typical banana, so we have to ask ourselves, ‘what does this mean for banana consumption?’,” Dr Paul Johnson, who is the lead researcher on the study, said.
“One of the things we think about is the colour of the fruit, and that colour is related to the size and shape of the plant.”
The researchers found that the baobal fruit is more distinctive because it is a smaller fruit, it has a darker green centre and the leaves are more rounded.
But it’s the colour in the seeds that is most interesting.
The researchers said that the seeds were “much more distinct” from the baobs and they were “very similar in shape”.
“Baobas are not particularly colourful, so it’s not as if they’re a special case.
They’re all similar,” Dr Johnson said.
The seeds are more distinct from the banana than the baoms Dr Johnson says that could be because baoba seeds were originally eaten by animals that ate the fruit.
“This was a way to preserve the fruit from being eaten by predators, so the seeds have been preserved,” he said.
This preserved seed is the main way that the fruit was able to survive the early extinction events of the Pleistocene.
“It’s a pretty amazing find,” Dr Joanne Cusimano, who works with the Queensland Museum of Natural History and was not involved in the research, said of the baab’s colour.
“Baubas are really interesting because we can really look at the shape and shape differences of the seeds, which is really exciting.”
She said it was interesting to find that the fruits were so different.
“They are all very similar and they have a very similar appearance to the baoba, so that could indicate that they are not necessarily of a similar origin.”
She suggested baobabies might be a symbol of the bush.
“People often think of baubals as being of the jungle, but in fact, the baubal is actually a member of the family that includes the common baobaby, the common bumblebee,” she said.