Identification needed

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by sunshade, Jun 22, 2020.

  1. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Somehow missed seeing this post the first time round!

    I'd not say the roots are too bad; like others in the cypress family it does not have a bad reputation for damaging the foundations of buildings. Only shallow foundations like paving and pathways are affected, and they are much cheaper to repair.
     
  2. araven

    araven New Member

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    I thought Metasequoia glyptostroboides was deciduous, at least mine are. The whole living fossil business is shaky at best, where do you draw the limit? 300, 200, 100, 50 million years? Virtually every tree is a "living fossil".

    Regards,
    Araven
     
  3. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I believe "living fossil" is often applied to those species/genera that are first known from fossils before discovery of living relatives.
     
  4. araven

    araven New Member

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    Hmm, I believe most of the so called "living fossils" were well known before their fossils. You might mean known by western science or misidentified by western science. The auracarids were certainly well known ever since humans populated the soutern hemisphere to take the most common group called "living fossils". I don't even know if the extant araucarids are so very old, they just have old traits. Same with Ginko Biloba, humans have used it since that part of the world was populated. The only species I can think of that fit you description is Metasequoia glyptostroboides.
     
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  5. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Even with Metasequoia, the local people knew about the species and had planted it on paddy field banks, long before it was 'discovered' in the 1940s.
     
  6. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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  7. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    No fossils of it. IIRC, the ones produced at the announcement of the species turned out to be less closely related than was thought at first.
     
  8. araven

    araven New Member

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    Hey,
    Yeah Metasequoia trees were known before it's discovery by a very small population and not for long as I understand it - it wasn't until 43 the first samples were taken, the first tree that was found stood next to a house, however it was over 400 years old and probably stood there before the village was there(the villagers were probably the first ppl with knowledge of the tree). I don't think anyone has information on how old the village is, but it certainly doesn't look to be 400 years old. It was news to scientists in China in the 40s, they misidentified an extant sample as Glyptostrobus pensilis(1943) the claim of scientific discovery in 1941 lacks evidence. The other species were well known by millions of people: the nuts of Auracaria auracana were used by the southamericans when the europeans arrived and probably much, much earlier and; Ginko has been used in traditional chinese medicine for thousands of years. But yes, you are probably correct in that the Metasequoia was known before its fossils. So we are down to 0 living fossils...
    That was my point from the start, the "Living fossil" concept is just an "attention concoction".

    https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/7e48/776a1b05aeaa726d5bfc51a4a6e043ace483.pdf

    Sorry for hijacking the thread.

    Regards,
    Jesper
     
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