Flowering plants welcome other life

Burst of evolution 100 million years ago opened new niches

By Rachel Ehrenberg, 17:33 PM February 9, 2009

A burst of flowering plant evolution some hundred million years ago may have served as an ecological stimulus package, spurring the radiation of ants, salamanders and other life. 

A new DNA analysis examines a prominent branch on the flowering plant family tree that includes the pea family; fruit-bearing trees such as apples, peaches and plums; and the birch, elm, and oak and beech families. The findings suggest that the arrival of these plants changed the face of Earth’s forests, which ma...

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