Oldest Fossil Palm

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Oldest fossil palm discovered according to Science, vol 308, p1864, 24 June 2005, which reported: "Palaeontologists this week got their best look yet at one of the world's first trees, a palmlike growth that flourished in a tropical environment in the middle Devonian Period, about 380 million years ago. Only fragments were previously known of the tree, called Pseudosporochnus. But last summer, staff from the New York State Museum in Albany came across a 3m long specimen in a gravel quarry near Conesville, New York -the first time the foliage has been found attached to the trunk. It is well preserved with a crown made up of frond-like branches. Although no roots are in evidence, 'it gives us the first clear impression of what this tree looked like,' says William Stein of the State University at Binghamton, New York, who is studying the fossil. 'What really strikes me is how modern it is,' says Stein, noting its leaf-like branches. (Modern leaves had not yet evolved.) The fossil was described at the North American Paleontology Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia, by New York state paleontologist Ed Landing."

Editorial Comment: The lack of roots makes it obvious that this tree specimen did not grow where it was found. It should also be obvious that it was buried quickly before the leaf foliage rotted. The fact the Science publication refers to it as a palm, and quotes university researcher William Stein as stating "how modern it is", is an indication that we now have another living fossil to add to the large number of already known living fossils that are no help to the theory of evolution at all. (Ref. Darwin, botany, kind)

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