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Ancient tree (almost) older than dirt

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posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 08:49 AM
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(I'm not sure in which forum this should go...Mods, feel free to move it.)

Scientists have found a tree in California that is at least 13,000 years old. It looks more like a group of shrubs with 70 different "trunks" that are offshoots of a long-gone original trunk.

It may not be older than dirt, as the title of the source article implies, but to put the age of this tree into perspective, 13,000 years ago:

- Woolly Mammoths still roamed the Earth.
- Homo floresiensis -- a separate and distinct species of humans -- lived along side us Homo sapiens.
- Humans started their very first attempts at agriculture.
- The island of Ireland and the island of Great Britain were connected as one island.
- The wheel probably was not invented yet (or at least not put to use as a tool).
- The Earth that was still in an ice age.

...and this tree started growing.

As I said the original trunk of this tree is long gone, but scientists say that this tree (and other similarly old trees) live on by continuously cloning themselves as offshoots. There are two trees that may be older than this. One of those may be 43,000 years old, and one may be 80,000.

Because of this cloning ability, I wonder if we could really say that these trees are actually that old? If I clone myself before I die at 75, and my clone lives another 75 years, can it be said I lived to be 150?

Here's the source:
www.msnbc.msn.com...
and here's another source with a photo:
www.latimes.com...


[edit on 12/29/2009 by Soylent Green Is People]




posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 09:22 AM
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I have been out west to the Sequoias, and boy are they some big trees.

General Grant took four pictures on my camera just to capture the whole thing!

The "branches" coming off of some of these ancient trees are bigger than all of the trees around where I live.

It is amazing to think of time when it comes to life span. From insects that live a day, to us who can live a hundred years, to these trees that are 10,000 years old plus, and finally on to the universe...

I wish that tree could talk! You think your old grandpa has some interesting stories...ha.



posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 09:33 AM
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Thats really interesting, thank you for sharing. S+F. I remember them finding some trees somwhere in Europe a few months ago that were a few thousand years old, but definitely not 13,000!



posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 10:34 AM
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reply to post by Soylent Green Is People
 


Needless to say we should be grateful that the tree going by the pick is not huge or some wealthy clown would appreciate the oldest sideboard in the world.



posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 12:22 PM
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That's amazing find.
That bush look like something one would just pass by. So that could be one "trick" for survival So it's got a very long historie.

From you're article, the part how they estimated the age. That's very interesting, I wonder how they actually do practice that...


The researchers estimated the plant's age by measuring growth rings and the rate of its spread. Termites have destroyed dead wood, precluding the use of radiocarbon-dating to get a more precise age.



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