Oldest fossil Eucalyptus flower with pollen found, according to Botany One 20 January 2021 and American Journal of Botany 3 December 2020 doi:10.1002/ajb2.1569.
Usually regarded as an Aussie Icon, the Gum Trees or Eucalypt family have produced several fossil surprises from other countries. Scientists have now studied the preserved pollen of a new species of fossil Eucalyptus flower found in South America and named Eucalyptus xoshemium, extracted from rocks dated at 52 million years old. The stamens and anthers of the flower were so well preserved the researchers were able to extract pollen grains and examine them under a microscope.
These proved identical to isolated pollen grains previously studied and given the scientific name Myrtaceidites eucalyptoides. Researchers have concluded M. eucalyptoides must be part of the Eucalyptus lineage and that Eucalypts must have been evolving since “at least the early Eocene”. The scientists also noted that the pollen grains of the new flower fossil they named E. xoshemium as well as the previously found pollen of M. eucalyptoides are “remarkably similar to pollen produced by modern species of Eucalyptus”. They also stated that leaves of fossil Eucalyptus species found in this fossil layer were “indistinguishable from those of modern Eucalyptus”.
The researchers conclude their report: “Undoubtedly, these fossils are a perfect example on the importance of paleobotanical work when addressing evolutionary processes in deep time”.
Link: Botany One
Editorial Comment: What this study actually shows is the fossil pollen named M. eucalyptoides should be reclassified as Eucalyptus since it is identical to pollen found in both living and fossil Eucalyptus.
What this study also shows is that these fossils do not show any evolutionary processes! In fact, the theory of evolution is useless for studying fossils and living things.
The fossil bed where this flower was found contains flowers, leaves, wood fragments and seed pods of Eucalyptus trees identical to living Eucalypts. As such, they are confirmation that Eucalypts have been reproducing their own kind ever since these fossils were buried and preserved. Furthermore, if these really are the oldest Eucalypts on earth, they provide no evidence Eucalypts evolved from any other kind of plant, since they have all the fully formed characteristics of living Eucalypts. Our studies of fossil and living Eucalypts are an actual confirmation of Genesis, which tells us God created plants fully formed and functional states to reproduce their own kind.
You may be wondering what fossil Eucalypts are doing in South America when Eucalypts are supposed to be native to Australia. Eucalypts currently are ‘native’ to Australia because they can cope with the harsh dry climates, where many other plants don’t. However, the world did not always have these extremes of climate. When God finished creating the world it was all “very good” with a more uniform mild climate. Eucalyptus trees can grow in mild moist climates, so they would have been dispersed amongst many other kinds of trees all over the world. They still grow in the wet jungles of New Guinea, but they don’t dominate the landscape as they do in Australia. After Noah’s Flood the world’s climate degenerated and harsh environments developed in many places, which meant some plants died out while others survived.
Eucalypts survived in Australia because they already had characteristics that enabled them to do so. They didn’t evolve in Australia, they survived there. Nowadays Eucalypts grow wild in Australia and grow in other parts of the world when they have been deliberately transported and planted there by people. This is natural and unnatural selection at work, but not evolution. Natural selection and “survival of the fittest” are real processes but they will not make anything evolve.
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