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Acorn

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[[File:Acorns in Scotland.jpg|thumb|Acorns of [[Sessile Oak]]]][[File:Lithocarpus collettii acorns.jpg|thumb|Acorns of ''Lithocarpus collettii '']][[File:Quercus ithaburensis ssp.macrolepis MHNT.BOT.2004.0.80.jpg|thumb|Acorns of '' Quercus macrolepis '']] The '''acorn''' is the [[ - fruit]] of the [[oak]] tree.<ref>(genera ''[[Quercus]]'', ''[[Lithocarpus]]'' and ''[[Cyclobalanopsis]]'', in the family [[Fagaceae]])</ref> It is : a [[Nut (fruit)|smooth thin-walled nut]], and contains a single [[seed]] (rarely two seeds), enclosed in a tough, [[leather]]y shell. Acorns vary from 1 – 6&nbsp;cm long and 0.8 – 4&nbsp;cm broad. Acorns take between about 6 or 24 months (depending on the [[species]]) to mature. Acorns are one of the most important wildlife foods in areas where oaks grow.<ref>Janzen, Daniel H. 1971 Seed predation by animals. In Richard F. Johnson, Peter W. Frank and Charles Michner (eds) ''Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics''.</ref> Creatures that make acorns an important part of their diet include [[bird]]s, such as [[jay]]s, [[pigeon]]s, some [[duck]]s and several species of [[woodpecker]]s. Small [[mammal]]s that feed on acorns include [[mouse|mice]], [[squirrel]]s and several other [[rodent]]s. Such large mammals as [[pig]]s, [[bear]]s, and [[deer]] also consume large amounts of acorns: they may constitute up to 25% of the diet of deer in the autumn.<ref>Brown, Leland R. 1979. Insects feeding on California oak trees. In Timothy Plum and Norman Pillsbury (eds) ''Proceedings of the Symposium on Multiplewoody cup-use management of California's hardwood resources'', Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-44, USDA, Forest Service, Pac. S.W. Forest and Range Experiment Station, [[Berkeley, California]], pp.&nbsp;184–194.</ref> In some of the large oak forests in southwest [[Europe]], traditionally called "dehesas", pigs are still turned loose in [[oak grove]]s in the autumn, to fill and fatten themselves on acorns.  Acorns contain [[tannin]]<nowiki/>s, which are toxic to some animals such as [[horse]]s. The tannins can be soaked out, using water.  == References ==shaped base{{refliststub}} == Other websites ==* [http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts-001-02s02dn.html Nutrition Facts for Acorn Flour]* [http://www.nativetech.org/recipes/recipe.php?recipeid=115 Nupa Acorn Soup] (Miwokan recipe)* [http://www.siouxme.com/acorn.html Cooking With Acorns: A Major North American Indian Food]* [http://www.sciencetoymaker.org/acorn/assembl.html How to whistle an acorn] [[Category:Nuts]]
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