Without Us, Pumpkins May Have Gone Extinct



People in the United States celebrate Thanksgiving each year with a feast that includes pumpkins. It turns out that pumpkins have us to thank for their existence. More than 10,000 years ago, the extremely bitter-tasting plants were thriving across the New World, along with giant sloths and mammoths that grazed on them. Pumpkins weren’t domesticated once, but several times, by the native people of the New World. Had it not been for their intervention, pumpkins would have gone extinct. In fact, pumpkin, squash and gourds would likely have gone the way of the dodo were it not for humans domesticating them. So, this Thanksgiving, you have one more thing for which to be thankful.