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© 2005 Yale Peabody Museum
© 1998 Dr. Richard Paselk, Humboldt State University Natural History Museum
© 2003 Spencer Lucas, New Mexico Museum of Natural History
What are Gymnosperms? Gymnosperms were the earliest seed-producing, woody plants. The term gymnosperm means “naked seed,” and this group includes all the seed-producing plants except the angiosperms (flowering plants). Their seeds commonly appear in a cone and lack the protective covering present in the seeds of flowering plants. Gymnosperms dominated the forests and swamps throughout much of the Mesozoic. Many have gone extinct, but members of the ginkgoes, cycads, and conifers are still around today.
First known fossil occurrence: Devonian.
Last known fossil occurrence: Quaternary. This group has living relatives.
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