In most of the Rocky Mountains, red squirrels are an important predator of lodgepole pine seeds. They harvest pinecones from the threes and store them through the winter. However, the pine trees are not defenseless: squirrels have a difficult time with wide pinecones that weigh a lot but have fewer seeds. Crossbill birds live in these places and also eat pine seeds, but the squirrels get to the seeds first, so those birds don't get as many seeds. However, in a few isolated places, there are no red squirrels, an crossbills are the most important seed predator for lodge poles. Again, The trees are not defenseless: crossbills with deeper, shorter, less curved bills are better able to extract seeds from tough cones. This plot gives and idea of
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