Latest
 
  • All Share : 52181.9457
    DOWN -0.52%
    Top40 - (Tradeable) : 46016.9766
    DOWN -0.60%
    Financial 15 : 17181.2049
    DOWN -0.30%
    Industrial 25 : 65630.6056
    DOWN -0.21%
    Resource 10 : 41011.451
    DOWN -2.50%

  • ZAR/USD : 12.0887
    DOWN -0.38%
    ZAR/GBP : 17.9248
    DOWN -0.13%
    ZAR/EUR : 13.0235
    DOWN -0.03%
    ZAR/JPY : 0.1005
    DOWN -0.10%
    ZAR/AUD : 9.2251
    DOWN -0.09%

  • Gold US$/oz : 1184.07
    UNCHANGED0.00%
    Platinum US$/oz : 1142.75
    UNCHANGED0.00%
    Silver US$/oz : 16.66
    UNCHANGED0.00%
    Palladium US$/oz : 735
    UNCHANGED0.00%
    Brent Crude : 55.08
    UNCHANGED0.00%

  • All data is delayed by 15 min. Data supplied by Profile Data
    Hover cursor over this ticker to pause.

Wed Apr 01 06:36:42 SAST 2015

Cycads not living fossils

Sapa-dpa | 21 October, 2011 08:51
Cycads. File picture
Image by: Reggaeman / Wikimedia commons

In a garden centre near you are palm-like plants called cycads that we have been told were around when dinosaurs roamed the earth 200 million years ago.

It turns out they were not, Australian botanist Nathalie Nagalingum said Friday.

"Every cycad species is under 10 million years old - and some are considerably younger," she said of research published Thursday in Science magazine.

The discovery will require the revision of textbooks that refer to cycads as living fossils, and the removal of signage in botanical gardens that trumpet them as dinosaur fodder.

Nagalingum, a researcher at Sydney's Royal Botanical Gardens, studied the characteristics of different cycads from around the world at a molecular level, and assessed how much they varied.

From the breadth of the diversity, the team calculated that the cycads around today all stem from a diversification that started only 10 million years ago, 55 million years after the last dinosaur died.

"There were cycads in dinosaur times but they were all made extinct and what we have today is a whole new suite of cycad species."

"It does mean we have to change a lot of things," she said.

SHARE YOUR OPINION

If you have an opinion you would like to share on this article, please send us an e-mail to the Times LIVE iLIVE team. In the mean time, click here to view the Times LIVE iLIVE section.