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The ‘dinosaur plant’ not quite Jurassic

The widely believed theory that cycad plants, or “dinosaur plants”, are living fossils has been debunked.

Using genetic analyses, researchers found that the current cycad species is different to its Jurassic counterpart even though they look much the same.

The computer-automated analyses and nuclear DNA sequence of the cycad found the current biological species evolved 10 million years ago.

“It goes against what we think about cycads - we thought that there were some new and some old ones, but to find out that they’re all new is astonishing. It shows we shouldn’t take things for granted,” lead author Nathalie Nagalingum told Cosmos Magazine.

Cycads originated more than 270 million years ago and are currently listed as the most endangered plants in the world. The are 70 species of the plant in Australia.

Read more at Science

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