It was the Night before Christmas… Conifers Used as Christmas Trees Have a Long Evolutionary Heritage
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a Mussaurus!
Our apologies to Clement Clarke Moore, but as we are about to close the offices on this Christmas Eve, one final posting on the web log before the big day – a prehistoric themed Christmas tree.
Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur
It is worth noting that most modern families of conifers (including those that contain the ones that are used as Christmas trees), evolved in the Mesozoic, during the age of dinosaurs. Although a number of ancient types of conifer did go extinct towards the end of the Cretaceous Period. However, the origin of the conifers goes back a lot further. It is thought that the first conifers, as a type of gymnosperm, evolved in the Carboniferous Period. Next time you look at a Christmas tree, consider how the first trees of that type probably evolved more than 330 million years ago.