Moscow, Russia: Scientists successfully grow flowering plants from seeds as old as 30,000 years ago.
If you follow Disney comics, you must know Chip N Dale- the two chipmunks that stash away nuts and acorns in secret spots (actually in a tree trunk most of the time) and annoy Pluto the dog and Donald Duck.
They have a single pursuit that leads to much trouble and all kinds of funny situations.
OR you must even remember the poor squirrel from ‘Ice Age’- the movie. The squirrel tries everything to save a nut- rather unsuccessfully.
Or maybe not.
In a major scientific breakthrough, a team of Russian scientists managed to regrow an entire plant from seeds and fruit tissues believed to be from more than 30,000 years back.
Yes- you are thinking- How did the seeds survive for such a long time? The answer? Chip N Dale. Or their ancestors to be
precise. These seeds and fruit tissues were found hidden in squirrel secret chambers where they stored fruit and Nut supplies for harsh winters- 30,000 years ago!
The scientific name of the plant is Silene stenophylla
(Scientists give special names to flowers, fruits, animals- so that scientists all over the world can understand the names even if everyone does not speak the same language the world over)
This the oldest plant ever to be regenerated, the researchers said, and it is even producing white flowers and viable seeds.
The Russian research team found the fruits after looking through many burrows hidden within ice and snow in northeastern Siberia, which date back 30,000-32,000 years.
The burrows from that time were often totally filled with ice, and they created a condition that no water or air could go inside the burrows- sealing the seeds and fruits.
“The squirrels dug the frozen ground to build their burrows, which are about the size of a soccer ball, putting in hay first and then animal fur for a perfect storage chamber,” said Stanislav Gubin, one of the authors of the study, who spent years looking through the area for squirrel burrows.
The burrows were located 125 feet below the present surface in layers containing bones of large mammals.
The scientists say that about 20 percent of the planet’s surface — could be a vast time capsule, a place where ancient life is preserved, could be revived, and could speak volumes about the evolution of life on Earth.