Apples originated on the flanks of the Tian Shan Mountains on the border between Kazakhstan and China, where wild forests of them still grow to this day, their seeds spread by bears. The familiar fruit of the apple tree is of course a seed dispersal mechanism, intended to tempt a hungry bear or other large mammal to eat it entirely, with the hope that some pips are passed out undamaged and at a distance from the parent tree, along with a healthy dollop of fertiliser to help them grow. Bears are well known to have a sweet tooth (as both Winnie-the-Pooh and Paddington would attest), and so it may well have been selection by bears for the sweetest fruit that resulted in the progenitors of the apples we love today.
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