Answer Monday!

Photo Credit: angela7dreams via Compfight cc

Last week on Fossil Friday, I gave you a pretty easy plant fossil to identify. Why so easy? Al though this fossil dates back to the Miocene, there are plenty of this same genus around today!

What was it? An Acacia of course, found in Mint Canyon in Southern California. I always thought of Acacia as an Australian tree, but according to the USGS there are some living in the US even today. According to Encyclopedia Britannica:

acacia, any of about 800 species of trees and shrubs comprising a genus (Acacia) in the pea family (Fabaceae) and native to tropical and subtropical regions of the world, particularly Australia (there called wattles) and Africa...Several acacia species are important economically.  A. senegal, native to the Sudan region in Africa, yields true gum arabic, a substance used in adhesives, pharmaceuticals, inks, confections, and other products. The bark of most acacias is rich in tannin, which is used in tanning and in dyes, inks, pharmaceuticals, and other products.

Thanks for playing this week. Stay tuned this Friday, when we keep the plant party going on Fossil Friday!

Minda Berbeco
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Minda Berbeco is the former Programs and Policy Director at NCSE.

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