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Info about plants millions of years ago

Info about plants millions of years ago - Botany Forum

Info about plants millions of years ago - Botany Forum


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  #1  
Old 06-24-2004, 10:34 AM
ByoBlu
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Default Info about plants millions of years ago



Hi,
I'm not an expert: therefor I came here since I believe you all are the
right people to speak to.
I'm writing a fantasy book and have to collect a reasonable amount of
information about life 200 mya.

I have to discover what plants, vegetables, grass and so on would you have
found if living there, and if they were acceptable food or was it necessary
to cook or treat it to eliminate poison.
Any other information, even ideas, or useful relevant links is very
appreciated.

Thank you very much,
Claudio


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  #2  
Old 06-24-2004, 01:01 PM
P van Rijckevorsel
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Default Info about plants millions of years ago

ByoBlu <[Only registered users see links. ]> schreef
right people to speak to. I'm writing a fantasy book and have to collect a
reasonable amount of information about life 200 mya.

+ + +
That is hard, a fantasy book requires quite a bit of information on plants
before you can develop a reasonably fantasy based on these. I am sure there
is a lot of information available, but it is a world apart. None of the
plants that are now widespread did exist then. It may well be that less than
a thousand species that did then exist has survived till now
PvR
+ + +

have found if living there, and if they were acceptable food or was it
necessary to cook or treat it to eliminate poison. Any other information,
even ideas, or useful relevant links is very appreciated.







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  #3  
Old 06-24-2004, 02:38 PM
Cereus-validus
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Default Info about plants millions of years ago

A million years ago flowering plants existed but there were no cultivated
plants yet developed by man and no modern vegetables. The ancestors of
modern vegetables would not be recognizable to the average person. Also it
would very much depend in which part of the world you were because the
ancestors of cultivated plants are from widely scattered localities. Even
the weeds would be different than they are now. Dandelions would not be the
common pest they are now.


"P van Rijckevorsel" <[Only registered users see links. ]> wrote in message
news:40dad9fb$0$136$[Only registered users see links. ]...
the
there
than


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  #4  
Old 06-24-2004, 03:32 PM
Inyo
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Default Info about plants millions of years ago

"ByoBlu" <[Only registered users see links. ]> wrote in message news:<p6yCc.52849$[Only registered users see links. ]>. ..



Since this is a question essentially about paleontology, you could
also try the newsgroup sci.bio.paleontology.


200 million years ago places you right smack dab in the middle of what
geologists and paleontologists call the Early Jurassic Period of the
Mesozoic Era--the age of dinosaurs. There were no grasses back
then--and flowering plants were nonexistent (although paleobotanical
discoveries keep pushing the first known flowering plant farther and
farther back in geologic time; right now, I believe the earliest
recognized flowering plant in the geologic record is somewhere around
127 million years old). Plant life was dominated by Sphenopsids
(horsetails) ferns, tree ferns, seed ferns, conifers (araucarians),
ginkgoes (still living today, of course), cycads, and cycadoids.

"Eight Miles High"--my solo, acoustic, instrumental 6-string guitar
version of the classic PopRock song made famous by The Byrds
(Clark/Hillman/Mcguinn composition)
[Only registered users see links. ]
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  #5  
Old 06-24-2004, 03:56 PM
ByoBlu
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Default Info about plants millions of years ago


"Inyo" <[Only registered users see links. ]> wrote in message
news:7c193d43.0406240732.4e7b22dc@posting.google.c om...

Thanks, already done.


Why is it so important the existance of flowering plants?


Any of them could be eaten?
Do you think if someone could take with himself modern vegetables seeds,
would they grow in that clima and atmosphere composition?



Very nice piece of art.
Claudio


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  #6  
Old 06-24-2004, 05:45 PM
Monique Reed
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Default Info about plants millions of years ago

There aren't a lot of ferns, cycads, etc. eaten today. You would be
seriously lacking protein in the absence of grains and legumes, and
quite a few ferns and fern allies are either toxic or contain enough
silica to be inedible. You hear about people eating fiddleheads, but
only from one or two species, and even then only at certain times. If
the characters in your book have time to do any research, have them
learn which few species might be edible.

Seeds of modern plants *would* grow, but you would run into problems
with those whose pollinating insects have yet to evolve. E.g., beans,
which are largely self-pollinating, might be all right, but things
like squash which have relationships with solitary bees are not going
to set fruit. Do a little research into when the different groups of
insects arose.

M. Reed

--
˙WPC5
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  #7  
Old 06-24-2004, 06:00 PM
Mike Martin
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Default Info about plants millions of years ago

NO GRASS?!?!!?


"Inyo" <[Only registered users see links. ]> wrote in message
news:7c193d43.0406240732.4e7b22dc@posting.google.c om...
news:<p6yCc.52849$[Only registered users see links. ]>. ..
the
have
necessary


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  #8  
Old 06-24-2004, 06:25 PM
Monique Reed
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Default Info about plants millions of years ago

Nope.

Monique

Mike Martin wrote:

--
˙WPC5
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  #9  
Old 06-24-2004, 07:34 PM
bae@cs.toronto.no-uce.edu.yyz
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Default Info about plants millions of years ago

In article <LQCCc.53421$[Only registered users see links. ]>,
ByoBlu <[Only registered users see links. ]> wrote:

Almost all the plants you see around you these days, aside from ferns,
mosses and conifers, are flowering plants. The flowers may not be very
obvious, but they are there. Essentially all crops, including grains,
are flowering plants. The technical term is angiosperms.


I don't know what araucarian seeds are like, but people and other
mammals eat the seeds of other conifers, notably pine "nuts". The
seeds of ginkgoes are very tasty. The young sprouts of some ferns are
edible, but IIRC, it's not a good idea to eat a whole lot of them,
since they contain carcinogens.


Sure, why not. Of course, it would depend on where you are. A lot of
modern vegetables won't mature where I live right now and those that
will have to be planted at the right time. I don't recall whether the
Jurassic was one of those eras with a more uniform climate than the
present, but some temperate climate vegetables won't grow in the
lowland tropics right now. As has been mentioned, vegetables which
require insect pollination will need to be hand-pollinated to set seed.

As for your story, most people are unable to identify an edible wild
plant even in areas they've lived in for decades. Even people who are
very knowledgable about an area would have a hard time in one strange
to them, and 200 Mya, with almost no familiar families of plants
around, they will starve if they expect to just drop in and eat a
vegetarian diet. Hunter-gatherers with many generations of
experimentation and experience with their climate and environment still
experienced famines. So your characters will have to eat fish,
amphibians and reptiles. Hm, skip the amphibians -- a number of modern
ones are lethally toxic. Turtle soup, perhaps, stewed mammal-like
reptile, and find out if those famous chicken-sized dinosaurs also
taste like chicken. At least you won't have to pluck them.

I don't know how you plan to get your characters to the Jurassic era,
but note that tomato seeds can pass through the human digestive system
undamaged, so a character who ate some raw tomato before time
travelling might well carry a supply of seeds without realizing it.
Watermelons too, I think. Probably other seeds but we usually don't
swallow them.

Have fun writing your story!

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  #10  
Old 06-24-2004, 07:40 PM
P van Rijckevorsel
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Default Info about plants millions of years ago

Monique Reed <[Only registered users see links. ].tamu.edu> schreef

+ + +
Probably more than you'd think,
but it might be quite a bit of work to find out:
a) which ones
b) how plentiful they were, and when
c) what equally edible relatives they once had, and when

Nobody even mentioned the micro-organismic level

As this is a 'literary' effort it might be more important to draw up a
comparison to the other books using this device, so as not to duplicate
them.
PvR





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