Tuesday, February 17, 2009
The human brain cannot really comprehend geological time, the expanse of years since the earth has been first formed and is contiuing to be formed. The amount of time that life has been on the planet is tiny compared to the time the planet has been, and the time that life has been in forms we recognize had been a sliver of that. And of the time plants and animals have been evolving together to form ecosystems, humans have been in existance for only a tiny sliver of that. And yet that sliver of time is still a number too large for us to really comprehed. These are some of the forms of plants that are considered 'living fossils' because they are some of the earliest forms to evolve, yet they are still with us today. The growth pattern is from a central point much like the ferns, but lacks the fiddlehead shape of the uunfurliing fern. These plants are huge, many feet across, and beautiful in their radial structure. They can remind us of the vast amount of time that has passed that allowed wonders like these to evolve.