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Scientists Have Discovered the Oldest Orchid Fossil

Recently the scientists have discovered, oldest fossil of an orchid. The scientists said there are more than 28,000 species available in the orchid family. Additionally, the number of orchid species is twice the number of bird species and quadruple the mammal species, stated the researchers.

The finding breaks the previous record for an orchid fossil found in Dominican amber about 20-30 million years old.

On the discovery, George Poinar, a professor at Oregon State University in the US, said, “a few years ago we even had not had evidence of ancient orchids.” The scientist also added that there wasn't anything preserved in the fossil record, earlier. However, now the scientists are beginning to locate pollen evidence associated with insects trapped in amber. Additionally, the process is opening the door to some new discoveries too, stated the scientists.

The researchers explained that orchids have their pollen in small sac-like structures known as pollinia.  This sac- like structure are attached by supports to viscidia, or adhesive pads, that can stick to the various body parts of pollinating insects, such as bees, beetles, etc.

Content: Hindustan Times

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