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Home Topics in Depth Science And Environment 52-million-year-old relative of potatoes and tomatoes discovered in Patagonia

  • Judi Lynn (3760 posts)
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    52-million-year-old relative of potatoes and tomatoes discovered in Patagonia

    It’s older than the Andes.

    Researchers have discovered two fossils in South America of a fruit that dates back to around 52 million years ago.

    The fossils could be the key to understanding how some of the most common plants today – including potatoes and tomatoes – evolved. And it turns out their genetic history might be a whole lot older than we thought.

    The fossilised fruit is a berry that belongs to the Solanaceae (or nightshade) family of plants, which includes popular species such as potatoes, tomatoes, chili and bell peppers, and tobacco.

    Despite how ubiquitous these plants are today all across the globe, their early history has remained mysterious, with only a few seeds found in the fossil record. So until now, we had no idea where they came from, or when.


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  • Marym625 (13863 posts)
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    1. Very cool!

    Very very cool!