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Ancient Gondwanan Agathis found in Patagonia



January 17, 2014
Agathis microstachya

Agathis microstachya

Buried GIANTS found in Laguna del Hunco in Patagonia! Over 50 million year old remains of Agathis, one of the giant trees of Australia, SE Asia and New Zealand have been found buried in volcanic deposits in South America.

Although known from Gondwanan times when Australasia, Antarctica, South America and Africa were joined in one super-continent, scientists had not known that the genus was so widespread, as fossil remains of Agathis have never before been found in South America.

This new fossil record, complete with both leaves and cones shows that climate change reduced the range of the mighty Agathis (current day specimens often grow to well over 60m, or 200ft), forcing it out of the increasingly cold Antarctic, or the seasonally dry South America. How 21st century climate change might affect the genus is unknown.

Read more at livescience.com

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