Study Shows Orchid Family Emerged and Thrived Alongside Dinosaurs

Scientists from the UK, Latin America, Asia, and Australia have assembled the most extensive orchid family tree ever created. It’s part of a new study, which also finds that orchids first evolved about 85 million years ago. That means they shared the earth with dinosaurs for about 20 million years. Contrary to previous works which showed that orchids emerged in Australia, this research points to origins in the Northern Hemisphere. They’re now one of the most widespread flower families, living all over the world except for Antarctica and the driest deserts. Orchids even live in the Arctic.

Better understanding of complex orchid relationships helps in crafting conservation policies. An estimated 56% of orchids are threatened with extinction. Professor Alexandre Antonelli, Director of Science at RBG, Kew and senior author of the study, stated that “Orchids are not only extraordinary jewels of nature, they also hold untold mysteries about life on Earth: how species evolve, adapt and move. Safeguarding their future is critical ….”

Explore posts in the same categories: Conservation, In the News

Subscribe to the About Orchids Blog:
AddThis Feed Button

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.