Story: Evolution of plants and animals

Wollemi pine

Wollemi pine

The Wollemi pine (Wollemia nobilis) is an ancient species that shares features with the kauri (Agathis australis). It was thought to have been extinct for about 2 million years, until a remnant population of fewer than 100 mature trees was discovered in 1994, in a rainforest gorge in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, by bushwalker David Noble. Around 120 million years ago New Zealand and Australia were part of Gondwana, and relatives of the Wollemi pine and the kauri grew there. A closely related species is the conifer Araucarioides, whose fossils have been found in 50–65-million-year-old sediments in New Zealand and Tasmania.

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Photograph by Jaime Plaza, Botanic Gardens Trust

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How to cite this page:

Matt McGlone, 'Evolution of plants and animals - Evolution, geology and climate', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 June 2024)

Story by Matt McGlone, published 24 Sep 2007