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Cockroach gardeners: Spreading plant seeds across the forest floor

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(Kumamoto University) Researchers in Japan have discovered that cockroaches can disperse seeds like birds and mammals. A variety of seed dispersing animals had been identified, including birds, monkeys, ants, and even slugs, but no cockroaches. This unexpected discovery was made during a study of the seed dispersal mechanism of Monotropastrum humile, a small herb that thrives in the same temperate forests of Japan that the Blattella nipponica cockroach inhabits.

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