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a living fossil


a living fossil
Photo Information
Copyright: michael shalter (retlash) Silver Note Writer [C: 1 W: 1 N: 67] (284)
Genre: Plants
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2013-03-01
Categories: Desert
Camera: Lumix FZ48
Exposure: f/5.0, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2013-03-28 11:01
Viewed: 2543
Points: 2
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
You are looking at a "fossil" plant that has not changed since the Jurassic period of the dinosaurs. It is endemic to the Namib desert (the oldest in the world) of Namibia and Angola. This is a female plant. No...not the bushy succulent, but the two-leafed thing at the base. A Welwitschia. It consists of only two leaves, a tap root and a base. The two leaves grow eventually to a length of 9 m and become frayed, split, and shredded. It is one of the few things on earth that can truly claim to be one of a kind. There is nothing like it.
Carbon dating tells us that, on average, welwitschias are 500-600 years old, although larger ones can be more than 2000 years old! The estimated life span is from 400 to 1500 years. Judging from the length of this one's leaves, it is at three times my age, or 210 years old. Needless to say, I took my hat off before I took her photo.


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Critiques [Translate]

interesting deseart species. an good specimen with excellent clarity. good work.

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