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52-million-year-old oak fossils found in Patagonia may contradict the genera's evolutionary origin

The oak family Fagaceae is thought to have its evolutionary origins in northern temperate forests and Southeast Asia. Wilf et al. now report 52-million-year-old fossils from the Southern Hemisphere belonging to the still-living genus Castanopsis. Hypotheses of Fagaceae origins have focused only on the Northern Hemisphere. Ancestral Castanopsis may represent one of numerous paleo-Antarctic plant genera that are found with Castanopsis today in Southeast Asian rainforests.

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Thursday, June 13, 2019