where most wolves are obligate carnivores, the maned wolf is an omnivore and tends to eat a large amount of fruit. there is one kind of fruit they particularly favor, solanum lycocarpum or "wolf's apple", which ends up forming over 50% of the wolfs diet

it's also called that because basically nothing else likes to eat this apple, so the maned wolves feel like the reason it sticks around

this symbiotic relationship is really evocative to me because it's a direct pairing of a plant and a mammal. i feel like it's our mammalian biases that call this fruit the "wolf's apple", which implies that the fruit is sort of an extension of the wolf. it's more interesting to me to think of the wolf as the "apple's wolf", an extension of the fruit tree, a creature working as the agent to spread the seeds of this unloved tree and ensure its continued existence

the maned wolf: the actual incarnation of the vegetable lamb of tartary??? you decide!!

anyway, of course i think they are equals with neither owning each other, but inverting the symbiotic relationship like this is something i find rly evocative in thinking about our relationships with things that are less instinctually anthropomorphized

@dogstar I recently had a similar moment when I read somewhere that our crops were basically super successful, having caused humans to plant them all over the place, in huge quantities, eliminating their competition and feeding them copiously, ensuring their survival, and their dominance. An interesting inversion of who is seen as the decision maker in a symbiotic relationship.

@dogstar We have a couple of these at my zoo. Their urine also has a very strong marijuana like smell. 😆 They are really neat tho!

@grey i've heard that!! yeah they are so cute and interesting

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