Living fossils

Published: Tuesday 31 January 1995

-- (Credit: Rustam Vania)Scientists have discovered living fossils -- 23 adult and 16 juvenile historic (how old?) pine plants -- in an inaccessible region of the Wollemi National Park, Blue Mountain region, 200 km west of Sydney. The exact location of the trees has not been disclosed in order to protect them.

The biggest tree is 40 metres tall with a 3 metre girth. The trees are clothed in dense, waxy foliage and have a knobby bark. The pines are located in a small grove of a 5,000 square metre rainforest in the 500,000 hectare park. The trees were discovered accidentally by an amateur naturalist hiker, David Noble.

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