Cycads not ‘living fossils’

Cycads not ‘living fossils’

Modern members of the plant group date back a mere 12 million years

By Nick Bascom, 15:48 PM October 20, 2011

Once thought to be the last remaining members of a plant lineage that went extinct with the dinosaurs, modern-day cycads are now believed to have diverged from a more recent common ancestor.

Although cycad populations suffered major losses about 65 million years ago when dinosaurs — their once primary dispersal agents — went extinct, the plants later experienced a renaissance due to a global climate shift, a new study suggests. Living cycads diverged from an ancestral species that flourishe...

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