Sorry. I don't think I was specific enough on my last question. The fruit eaters I was thinking of when I wrote it were large animals like bats and primates (as well as birds). I wasn't sure how important wild bananas were to the diet of these creatures, but I know that plenty of wild animals raid plantations of domestic bananas, so how do they deal with the skins?

Most primates in the wild just eat them skin and all (peeling is more common in zoos where the behaviour seems to be learned from keepers and watching the public). Banana skins can be easily bitten or pecked though - especially when the fruit is very ripe.

Don't forget that humans are used to eating processed foods, but most other animals aren't. Smaller animals will make a hole and feed through it, while bigger animals will just stuff the fruit into their mouth and chew. Compared to nuts bananas are easy going!

It's also well worth bearing in mind that our agricultural strains of bananas have been in cultivation for thousands of years and have changed substantially from their ancestors. The way animals handle our crops may be very different from 'natural' bananas in the wild.

Last edited by Markus Eichhorn (21st Feb 2008 10:07:23)