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If there are many animals out to eat you, it makes sense to defend yourself. But what if you're a plant? You can't run away, so what do you do? Most plants have toxins to deter herbivores (see Insect herbivory). Others, such as the cercropia, recruit ants to protect themselves. But large animals (such as the sloth) can detoxify poisons and are not discouraged by ants. So, besides insects a plant has to fend off vertebrate herbivores, such as sloths and monkeys. Perhaps this explains the pronounced thorns endowed upon the trunk of this tree.

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