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|Pines Are Watching Us Since We Were Little More Than Rats
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|Autor:||Pablo Edronkin [ Lun Nov 28, 2011 1:36 pm ]|
|Asunto:||Pines Are Watching Us Since We Were Little More Than Rats|
Conifers (botanical division 'Coniferophyta') can be counted among the oldest and most successful plants ever.
Some conifer fossils date back to Palaeozoic times, concretely the Carboniferous period (about 360 to 286 million years ago.) In evolutionary terms, conifers have been quite successful, albeit it is hard to understand their evolution and this, classify them at times. 'Cordaites' is the name of an ancient conifer species that populated the forests and swamps of the Carboniferous; this tree reached well over 25 metres, and developed very curious and complex cones that carried its seeds.
Almost all conifer characteristics evolved quite quickly, so we may say that they are quite perfect plants indeed: 'Araucaria' pines, known as Monkey - Puzzle to many (albeit there are no monkeys where Araucarias are), have not changed since the Triassic period (245 - 208 million years ago.)
These old cypresses were saved thanks to scientists of
La Plata University, in Argentina; cypresses from Alaska to
Tierra del Fuego are suffering from a virus that mutated somewhere
in the United States. It literally dries out these trees, but they can
be saved with a rather simple and cheap treatment.
In Argentina and Chile there are still compete forests covered with these trees which have, instead of the traditional needles that we associate with pines, razor - sharp leaves: you have to be very careful with these. Conifers can be counted among the elite of living species, for they survived firstly the P-T event ant the end of the Permian, which also marked the end of the Palaeozoic era and the beginning of the Mesozoic, while 95% of all life forms and biomass on Earth perished. In Batea Mahuida, Argentina, you can go Telemark skiing among the araucaria forests: they look so bizarre as to what you read on any H.P Lovecraft's stories.
Then, they survived the K-T event that terminated the Cretaceous and marked the beginning of the Palaeocene, and the end f the Mesozoic and the dawn of the Cenozoic era. This event, occurred 66,4 million years ago, exterminated - among other species - the dinosaurs. Yet, conifers remain as survivors, proving once more that they are perfectly fit for long term survival; it would be a pity if for some pocket money we would harm them by destroying our .
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