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Ginkgoites huttoni, fossil ginkgo

Ginkgoites huttoni, fossil ginkgo

C021/6957

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Credit

DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

The tree Ginkgoites huttonii is an extinct ginkgo species in the family of the Ginkgoaceae. Ginkgo is a genus of relatively rare, non-flowering plants that first appeared in the Permian geologic era, 250 million years ago. The rate of evolution within the genus has been slow, and almost all its species had become extinct by the end of the Pliocene epoch. An exception is Ginkgo biloba, the sole living species, only found in the wild in China, but cultivated across the world. It is often considered a living fossil. The fossil here displayed is from Jurassic sediments on the Yorkshire coast of England. The deeply incised leaves of this fossil specimen are very similar to those of the modern day species.

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