Image source: BBC
The world of science is extremely intriguing. Nothing gets destroyed in it. A couple of days back, Scientists at Patagonia (Latin America) discovered a fossil fruit, which is expected to be more than 52-million years old.
The fossilized fruit resembles like that of an ancient berry belongs to a plant species that produces popular vegetables like potatoes, capsicums and tomatoes. The actual detail of the plant is still not known. A very few details could be ascertained as of now from the fossilized fruit. A few seed from the said fossilized fruit has been taken for further research.
Latin Americans feel that the fossilized fruit is similar to that of tomatillos and ground cherries for their uncanny resemblance. The latest Paleobotanical discoveries in Patagonia will surely throw some more light on the evolution of the plant kingdom.
Some Interesting Information on this Fossilized Fruit
- It might belong to a rare Solanaceae or nightshade family of flower plants.
- This newly invented fruit could divulge necessary details of the evolutionary history of human life.
- Around 50 million years ago, Latin America was closer to Antarctica and Australia in the supercontinent Gondwana. The world was a hotter place for living beings in those days.
- According to the researcher – Wilf, “The invention of this fossilized fruit could also throw some light on the site of the discovery. Flowers, fruits and animals could also be preserved there in the form of fossils.
- The fruit could have drifted into a lake which is responsible for its delicate appearance with multiple layers of sediment. The lake could have been acidic and prevented biological breakdown of the microbes of the fossilized fruit.
- It is a lantern fossil fruit. Never ever before any such fossilized fruit was discovered. It’s amazing per se. The berry inside the fruits makes it look strange and surreal.
- The research will now lead to enhanced focus on Antarctica so as to find out the real origin of this fruit.
Some Vital Facts of the fossilized fruit
The newly invented fossil fruit is botanically termed as Physalis Infinemundi. It’s age dating back to more than 50-million year. It must have been first grown in the temperate rainforest. In that time, earth was very hot and didn’t support the growth of all plants.
“These astonishing, extremely rare specimens of Physalis fruits are the only two fossils known of the entire nightshade family that preserve enough information to be assigned to a genus within the family,” said Peter Wilf, a researcher at Penn State.
Another researcher, N Ruben Cuneo, CONICET, felt that Paleobotanical discoveries in Patagonia are probably destined to revolutionize some traditional views on the origin and evolution of the plant kingdom.
In fact, even several years after studying the origin of universe and evolution of human life in planet earth – scientists are still confused about the actual events that led to the formation of life inside earth. It is expected that some more research into this fossilized fruit will help scientist to disclose more on this subject in no time.