SeedPlants213-page6

SeedPlants213-page6 - southern hemisphere regions once...

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Seed-Dispersing Plants - 6 The Living "Fossils" Several gymnosperms have excellent fossil records, including the revered Ginkgo biloba , sole survivor of the Ginkgophyta and the dawn redwood, Metasequoia glyptostroboides , of central China, a conifer in the Taxodiaceae, the family that includes the coast redwood the giant sequoia of California and the bald cypress. Both the extant and the dawn redwood were "discovered" by Europeans visiting China. Both were, at one time, distributed over much of the world. We will discuss the tree later. Metasequoia glyptostroboides Distribution of Redwoods The "newest" living fossil: Wollemia nobilis Wollemi a is an ancient relative of the Araucariaceae family of confers, found in the
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Unformatted text preview: southern hemisphere regions once connected as Gondwana in geological history. Although widely distributed in the northern hemisphere 200 million years ago, all northern hemisphere representatives of the Araucariaceae went extinct about the same time as the dinosaur extinction. The monkey pod tree and the Norfolk Island "Pine" are two living relatives of Wollemia . Thought to be extinct, a small grove was discovered in a very wet and sheltered gorge in Australia's Wollemi National Park in 1994. The population consists of about 40 adult plants and about 200 seedlings. Comparisons of a pollen with 90 million year old fossil pollen traced its heritage....
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