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News Release 17-020

Paleontologists find fossil relative of Ginkgo biloba

Discovery highlights diversity of plants more than 100 million years ago

Reconstruction of the ancient, dinosaur-era relative of today's Ginkgo biloba plant.

Reconstruction of the ancient, dinosaur-era relative of today's Ginkgo biloba plant.

Credit: Fabiany Herrera & Patrick Herendeen


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Open pit mine in Tevshiin Govi in central Mongolia where the mummified fossil plants were found.

Open pit mine in Tevshiin Govi in central Mongolia where the mummified fossil plants were found.

Credit: Fabiany Herrera & Patrick Herendeen


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The plant's capsule-like, seed-bearing structure opens from the base, releasing the seeds.

The plant's capsule-like, seed-bearing structure opens from the base, releasing the seeds.

Credit: Fabiany Herrera & Patrick Herendeen


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Preserved open four-lobed capsule from which the seeds have been shed.

Preserved open four-lobed capsule from which the seeds have been shed.

Credit: Fabiany Herrera & Patrick Herendeen


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Branched short shoot of the extinct plant; this dwarf short shoot is very similar to living ginkgo.

Branched short shoot of the extinct plant; this dwarf short shoot is very similar to living ginkgo.

Credit: Fabiany Herrera & Patrick Herendeen


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Leaf of another plant found with the seed-bearing structures of the ancient ginkgo.

Leaf of another plant found with the seed-bearing structures of the ancient ginkgo.

Credit: Fabiany Herrera & Patrick Herendeen


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