Discovery of fossil wood Ginkgo biloba
Recently, Chinese and French scientists led by Wang Yongdong, professor at Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, researched new fossil wood of Ginkgo biloba. The fossil wood (Ginkgoxylon liaoningense) was collected from the Tiaojishan Formation in western Liaoning, northeastern China.
It probably dates from the Middle to Late Jurassic.
According to the researchers this discovery represents the oldest well-dated occurence of Ginkgo wood.
Its anatomy departs slightly from that of modern Ginkgo, it displays all its characteristic features. It differs only in having a more mixed type of radial pitting, which also occurs, albeit locally, in modern Ginkgo wood. The xylem structures of Ginkgoxylon liaoningense illustrates the basal state of Ginkgo wood anatomy and will contribute to the understanding of Ginkgo evolution.
Jiang, Z. et al. A Jurassic wood providing insights into the earliest step in Ginkgo wood evolution.
Scientific Reports 6, art.no. 38191; doi: 10.1038/srep38191 (2016).
Full article: Nature.com