[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Pine trees and paleoartists

Are there tropical species of pine trees that I don't know about,
because in my opinion, pine trees look seriously out of
place in a landscape that's supposed to be hot and muggy.

This has an easy answer: angiosperms (which include all surviving broad-leaved trees except *Ginkgo* and *Gnetum*) only evolved in the Early Cretaceous; tree-shaped angiosperms are not known before about the beginning of the Late Cretaceous; and angiosperm forests stayed rare till much later. Tropical rainforests in more or less the modern sense appeared only in the Paleocene.

In contrast, broad-leaved conifers are known from the Mesozoic. One of them, the Late Jurassic *Podozamites*, has been found with dragonfly eggs on its leaves.

Most angiosperms have much broader vessels than conifers and ginkgos. This allows them to grow faster, and that's why they dominate the warm parts of the globe today. On the other hand, the water in those broad vessels freezes more easily, and that's why there are still huge conifer forests in the cold parts of the globe.

Also, what's with the volcanoes smoking in the background?

Most of them are nonsense, and therefore absent from serious artwork from the last 20 years.