Bottle gourds bobbed to South America on ocean currents, study suggests

02/12/2014 | Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model)

The bottle gourd, a plant with many uses, is believed to have floated from Africa to South American shores thousands of years ago, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science. A multidisciplinary research team studied ancient ocean currents as well as the gourds' DNA to see if the plant's travels within a single year were plausible. Computer models did, indeed, suggest that a gourd could successfully make the trip, seeds intact, well within a year's time.

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