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A group of smooth horsetails (equisetum laevigatum )sprout up from a marsh in the glen

Weekly Wildlife: Horsetails!

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There are a privileged group of plants and animals that are considered “living fossils”; species so old and unchanged by evolution that they are almost exactly the same as they were millions of years ago. Today’s weekly wildlife is one of those “living fossils”: the horsetail.

The genus Equisetum contains many species of horsetails. These thin, reedy plants that you see clumped together at the edge of bogs and marshes are a hundred million year old relic. How fascinating that an organism could eke out a living so successfully that it would not have to adapt for such a long time!


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One Response to “Weekly Wildlife: Horsetails!”

  1. Kathryn Hitchcock says:

    Another lovely photo, Aaron, and a short but fascinating story about the long life of the horsetails.