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Study Suggests That Calcium Is Why Figs Are Big Favorites With Animals

April 16, 1998

Fruit-eating animals regularly choose figs even when other fruits are available, but researchers have not known why. The answer is probably calcium, according to a new study in today's issue of the journal Nature. A team headed by Timothy G. O'Brien of the Wildlife Conservation Society Indonesia Program surveyed figs throughout the world and found that, on average, they contain three times as much calcium as other fruits.

That concentration, they say, is high enough to promote eggshell formation in birds and to encourage healthy bone growth in birds and mammals.

Compiled by Times medical writer Thomas H. Maugh II

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