Fun by our high intellectual standards around here that is:
Scientists from the Denver Museum of Nature & Science found that within 300,000 years of the asteroid strike, small shrew-like mammals had increased in size three fold, and by 700,000 had grown to be about the size of a large dog.
The boom in mammals was driven by a surge in new plant life which allowed herbivores to grow much bigger, and experts believe the large sizes achieved were driven by the evolution of legumes which gave a protein boost.
Just been reading an old history of the middle ages. And the insistence is that a large part of the population and economic growth was similarly drive by beans, legumes.
The move from the two fields to three system that is. Instead of just fallow and crop there was now winter, spring crop and fallow. Often enough the spring being a legume, or bean. Which vastly increased the nutrition level of the general populace. Driving that population and economic growth.
Basically, the argument is a repeat of the stunting one used today about particularly direly poor places.
Same book has a shock for our farmer readers. Seed corn to harvest was thought to be perhaps one to 2.5. One bushel of seed gave 2.5 at harvest. The iron – therefore deeper working – ploughs of the early middle ages raised that to 4. A grand victory.
We’ve discussed this before and as I recall it the modern answer is “I don’t know how many grains I get from one seed because it’s so many we don’t think of it that way”.
But we do know what the average tonnage crop per acre is. What’s the average weight of seed corn needed to get it?