Autumnal ginkgo leaves

Autumnal ginkgo leaves

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This image is part of the feature Top Ten Life

Credit: GUSTOIMAGES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Ginkgo leaves (Ginkgo biloba) showing their yellow autumn colour. The ginkgo, or maidenhair tree, is considered a living fossil as it is unchanged from the 250 million-year-old fossilised specimens that have been found. The bright yellow pigment in the leaves is revealed as the green chlorophyll in them breaks down in autumn. The tree is native to China, but has now been introduced throughout the world.

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