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Juniper2007OriginSweetApple (dragged) 2

Juniper2007OriginSweetApple (dragged) 2 - KAZAKHSTAN...

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46 American Scientist, Volume 95 © 2007 Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society. Reproduction with permission only. Contact [email protected] migrated west across the land bridge connecting what is now North America with Asia. Although the Bering Strait is currently a shallow sea with many islands, during at least 12 periods in the immediate geological past, seawater was locked in glaciers and ice sheets, and the two continents were connected by an ice-free bridge. Plants and ani- mals would have moved, in both di- rections, through “Beringia” to their present locations. This little neo-apple would probably have looked more like a hawthorn (Crataegus) with bunches of long-stalked fruits not much bigger than peas. But by about 10 million to 12 million years ago there must have existed somewhere in what is now cen- tral China, roughly in the area of the current provinces of Xi’an and Shaanxi, and perhaps in a great corridor of Ter- tiary temperate forest, a recognizable ancestral apple. Much earlier, about 40 million years ago, the Indian subcontinent, which had detached from East Africa, crashed into the great northern land mass. Just
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