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Prehistoric Pollen

A current study out of the Paleontological Institute and Museum at the University of Zurich has documented “plant-like pollen” dating back 100 million years prior to the previously believed origin of flowering flora. This shifted the origin of flowering plants to the early to mid Triassic, rather than the Cretaceous. This fossilized pollen was discovered in two drilling cores from northern Switzerland, about 3000 km south of the site of a previous study in which a different plant like pollen fossil was discovered. This helped to solidify the belief that flowering plant life arose long before previously thought. While we don’t yet know what these plants may have looked like or the exact nature of their life and existence, this discovery acts as a reminder that we still have much to learn about the nature and history of life on Earth, and that before we become too focused in our search for extraterrestrial life, we should allow ourselves to become better acquainted with the life right here on our planet.

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