Megafauna fruits database.
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Megafauna Fruits Dataset

This is the page for the Megafaunal Fruits database, a large dataset of fleshy fruit traits compiled for my collaborative work with Paulo R. Guimarães Jr. and Mauro Galetti. Data are provided for more than 100 plant species, mainly from Brazilian habitats. A photo gallery is here. The dataset is also available in the DRYAD Digital Repository (please use this link when citing).

Please, e-mail me ( Pedro Jordano ) if you are interested in getting additional details. Or write to the postal address: Pedro Jordano Estación Biológica de Doñana, CSIC Avda. Americo Vespucio S/N E-41092 Sevilla, Spain

Alt text

Fleshy fruited megafaunal-dependent species illustrating size, shape, and color variation. a, Attalea speciosa, Arecaceae; b, Mouriri elliptica, Melastomataceae; c, Hymenaea stigonocarpa, Fabaceae; d, Genipa americana, Rubiaceae; e, Salacia elliptica, Celastraceae; f, Annona dioica, Annonaceae. Black reference line is 2 cm length. Photos from Fazenda Rio Negro, Pantanal, Brazil.

Brief description

VERSION 1.0. December 2004.

This dataset accompanies our recent work on megafauna-dispersed fruit species, now in review. We'll update the dataset information as soon as we get additional data for more species. My previous work on this topic has concentrated on analyses for the whole Angiosperm clade. Recently I'm collaborating with Mauro Galetti and Marco A. Pizo, involving comparative analyses restricted to the tropical families Arecaceae and Myrtaceae, as well as the fruit communities of Mata Atlantica forests and Pantanal. Together with Paulo R. Guimarães Jr., Mauro and I are also analyzing the comparative ecology of the so-called anachronic seed dispersal systems, i.e., plant species with overbuilt fruits supposedly dispersed by an extinct megafauna and not having present-day interactions with frugivorous animals. These fruit species have seriously altered seed dispersal systems.


Guimarães PR Jr, Galetti M, Jordano P (2008) Seed Dispersal Anachronisms: Rethinking the Fruits Extinct Megafauna Ate. PLoS ONE 3(3): e1745. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001745.

It contains a copy of the main data file exactly as used for this paper, as well as other accompanying files (see below).

Taxonomic arrangement follows: Cronquist, A. (1981). An integrated system of classification of flowering plants. Columbia University Press.

Plant names and names of higher taxonomic categories have been checked with: Mabberley, D.J. 1987. The plant-book. A portable dictionary of the higher plants. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Please, contact me if you have suggestions, find errors, inconsistencies, or any other bug in the file. As well, please let me know about your uses of this data and send manuscripts and reprints when available. I´ll be happy to help you in any case, as far as I can.


Variable names in the Megafaunal Fruits Dataset

CL Class

SCL SubClass

ORD Order

FAM Family

GEN Genus

SP Species

REF Reference number - This is my maintenance code for updates.

NEWREF New Reference number - These are the refs numbers in the files REFS and SUMMARY.

FAMLAB Family Label - An 8-character label for family.

GENLAB Genus Label - An 8-character label for genus.

SPLAB Species Label - An 8-character label for species.

COD Species code - A 5-character code for the species.

DISPCAT Disperser type category - BIRDS, MIXED, MAMMALS.

DISP Disperser type - Finer categorization. Not yet completed. Needs revision.

AREA Geographic area - Major geographic areas of the data sources.

MEurope: Mediterranean Europe (also includes Israel and Morocco.

NEurope: Temperate and Northern Europe.

NAmerica: North America, excl. Southern Mexico.

NTAmerica: Neotropical America, incl. Southern Mexico.

Africa: Africa, south of Sahara.

Australasia: Australia, Malaysia, New Guinea, and whole SouthEast Asia.

FRUIT Fruit type - Type of fruit. Not completed yet. Needs revision.

LENG Fruit length (mm)

DIAM Fruit diameter (mm)

FRFM Fruit fresh mass (g)

PDM Dry mass of pulp per fruit (g)

SDM Dry mass of seed(s) per fruit (g)

SEEDS Number of seeds per fruit

SEEDM Seed dry mass (g)

RY Relative yield of pulp (PDM/FRFM*100)

KJG Specific energy content of pulp (kJ/g)

KJFR Total energy content per fruit (kJ)

PCW Percent water content of fruit

LIP Proportion of lipids (per g dry pulp)

PRO Proportion of protein (per g dry pulp)

NSC Proportion of non-structural carbohydrates (per g dry pulp)

ASH Proportion of minerals (per g dry pulp)

FIB Proportion of acid-detergent fiber (per g dry pulp)


This is the species list for the dataset, as December 2004.

Family, and Species

ANACARDIACEAE Anacardium giganteum, Anacardium occidentale, Poupartia amazonica, Spondias tuberosa

ANNONACEAE Annona cacans, Annona coriacea, Annona crassiflora, Annona densicoma, Annona montana, Annona muricata, Rollinia mucosa

APOCYNACEAE Ambelania acida

BOMBACACEAE Quararibea cordata

BROMELIACEAE Ananas ananassoides, Ananas comosus

CARYOCARACEAE Caryocar brasiliense, Caryocar microcarpum, Caryocar villosum

CHRYSOBALANACEAE Couepia bracteosa, Couepia subcordata, Licania tomentosa, Parinari montana

FLACOURTIACEAE Carpotroche brasiliensis

GUTTIFERAE Platonia insignis, Rheedia acuminata, Rheedia macrophylla

HIPPOCRATEACEAE _Salacia crassifolia

HUMIRIACEAE Duckesia verrucosa, Endopleura uchi

ICACINACEAE Poraqueiba paraensis, Poraqueiba sericea

LAURACEAE Persea americana

LECYTHIDACEAE Couroupita guianensis

LEGUMINOSAE Andira anthelmia, Andira humilis, Andira legalis, Cassia leiandra, Dipterix alata, Dipterix odorata, Geoffroea striata, Hymenaea courbaril, Hymenaea stigonocarpa, Inga alba, Inga cinnamomea, Inga edulis, Inga fagifolia, Inga falcistipula, Inga heterophyla, Inga laurina, Inga macrophylla, Inga marginata, Inga sessilis, Inga thibaudiana, Inga velutina, Swartzia langsdorfii, Swartzia macrostachya, Swartzia oblata

MYRTACEAE Eugenia cambucarana, Eugenia klotzschiana, Eugenia neoverrucosa, Eugenia stipitata

ARECACEAE Acrocomia aculeata, Acrocomia intumescens, Allagoptera arenaria, Allagoptera leucocalyx, Astrocaryum aculeatissimum, Astrocaryum aculeatum, Astrocaryum murumuru, Astrocaryum vulgare, Attalea dahlgreniana, Attalea dubia, Manicaria saccifera, Mauritia carana, Mauritia flexuosa, Maximiliana maripa, Polyandrococos caudescens, Scheelea phalerata, Syagrus cearensis, Syagrus cocoides, Syagrus macrocarpa, Syagrus oleracea, Syagrus picrophylla, Syagrus pseudococos

QUINIIACEAE Lacunaria grandiflora, Lacunaria jenmani

RUBIACEAE Genipa americana

SAPOTACEAE Achras sapota, Pouteria caimito, Pouteria grandiflora, Pouteria macrocarpa, Pouteria macrophylla, Pouteria pachycalyx, Pouteria pariry, Pouteria ramiflora, Pouteria speciosa, Pouteria torta, Pouteria venosa, Duckeodendron cestroides, Solanum licocarpum

STERCULIACEAE Theobroma bicolor, Theobroma cacao, Theobroma grandiflorum, Theobroma obovatum, Theobroma subincanum


We are grateful to Camila Donatti, Marco A. Pizo, Jordi Bascompte, Daniel Janzen, John Alroy, Peter Mann de Toledo, Ove Eriksson, and students of the 1stLatin American course on Frugivory and Seed Dispersal (2002) for discussions and comments about megafaunal fruits and suggestions that helped us in many ways. We thank Connie Barlow and Carlos Yamashita for their help at various stages of this project. The study was supported by the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología (BOS2000-1366-C02-01) to PJ, CNPq (Bolsa de Produtividade), FAPESP, FUNDUNESP and IFS to MG and FAPESP to PRG (01/1737-3); our collaboration was also funded by CYTED and a CNPq-CSIC agreement.


version 0.0.- 15 April 2003. Only 92 species. version 0.5 - 23 September 2003. Added many species with information on fruit size only and completed the literature survey; 104 species. version 1.0 - 11 December 2004. First draft of the web page.

Best wishes, and happy computing! Pedro


To download these files, please clone or download this GitHub repository to your desktop.

The Megafauna Dataset, megafauna_fruits_dataset.xls, in .xls format.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License

This work and all other materials under are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.