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Re: Favorite Living Fossil?

freeman@netcom.com (Jay Reynolds Freeman) wrote: 

   > My favorite living fossil is _Metasequoia_glystroboides_ <snip> 
>It's a very pretty tree, of great antiquity -- maybe someone on this
>list can tell us how solid the evidence is, that it goes back to the
>Mesozoic.  If I am not mistaken, it was first known from the fossil
>record, and thought to be extinct, until someone turned up a stand of
>them in China, in the 1930s.

It goes back at least to the Maastrichtian (Upper Cretaceous).  It is a very
common fossil in the Eocene rocks around here (Bellingham, WA). 
   The same situation occured with my favorite living fossil-flora, the
Ginko.  I think they found a grove somewhere in China.  By the way, if you
get a Ginko for your yard, make sure you get a *male* plant.  (for those who
have hung-out with female Ginko's, they will appreciate my point).  Ginko
sex is a particularly pungent and permiscuous proposition.