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Re: Wollemi, Attenborough, and Branagh

On Wed, 11 May 2005 01:19:00 -0700 "T. Michael Keesey" <keesey@gmail.com>

> From what I can glean, the *first* fossil record of the _Wollemia
> nobilis_ stem-lineage is dated at 90Ma, and the split from other
> extant _Araucariaceae_ would have been about 200Ma.

Does anyone know of the *youngest* fossil occurrence of the group?

> One interesting thing about them is that there has not been any
> genetic variation detected between specimens. It seems that each 
> one
> is a virtual clone of each other one, despite the fact that they
> reproduce sexually.

So they're the cheetahs of the plant kingdom, eh? (well not quite,
cheetahs have *some* genetic variation, albeit not much).

Then it is a good thing that the park is widely disseminating those
seeds.  One introduced parasite/fungus could wipe out the whole forest.