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© 2003 Gary Andrashko, Illinois State Museum
© 2005 The Virtual Fossil Museum
© 2000 Karl Wilson
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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