Organization for the Advancement of   
Interdisciplinary Learning
Fruit, Seeds and Evolutionary Biology

Did you know that, through the process of evolution, certain plants developed
fruit in order to increase their reproductive success?  Many plants endanger
the viability of their offspring by dropping seeds around their base.  Many of
these seeds will be able to germinate, but once rooted will have a great deal
of trouble gaining the water and nutrients that they need from the soil
because they are in direct competition with their larger, parent plant.  Those
plants that were able to encase their seeds in fruit created a vehicle for the
transportation of their seeds away from their roots, ultimately enabling them
to conserve their own resources.  This vehicle happens to be animal

Animals found the fruit attractive because it supplied them with the calories
that they needed to live.  After consuming the fruit most animals will stray from
the tree, and later deposit the seeds, along with their energy enriched fecal
matter, an effective fertilizer for young plants.  The development of fruit
created a relationship of symbiosis between plants and animals.  It helped
each to become more reproductively successful and enabled them to prolong
their lifespan:  Parent trees last longer because they experience less
competition & older, weaker animals live longer lives because fruit is
relatively easy for them to procure.

Many animals developed an evolutionary adaptation in response to fruit
availability.  Because fruit was an excellent source of energy, those animals
which had a predilection for the taste of fruit ate more of it.  The animals that
ate more fruit were more likely to survive in calorie scarce environments and
so those animals who favored the taste of fruit were selected over those that
did not.  Most carnivores are averted by the smell, and taste of fruit whereas
many herbivores and omnivores are attracted by both the smell and taste.  
Part of the reason that our palate is equipped to sense and react favorably to
sugars is related to the advantage that fruit conferred to our ancestors.