Toxic trees

Growing in graveyards across Britain, the yew tree produces poisonous seeds, bark and leaves, but the fruits can be eaten by wildlife when ripe. As they expand they turn red, attracting the animals that will help with their dispersal. Finches dissect the fruit, leaving the poisonous seed, but blackbirds and thrushes are able to consume the whole thing with the toxic seed passing through their gut intact. Grey squirrels can also eat the whole fruits. No one knows why so many graveyards contain yew trees.

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