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60 million-year-old seeds reveal that dinosaur extinction paved the way for grapes

·1 min

Grapes may not have become essential to human history if dinosaurs had not disappeared from the planet. Fossilized grape seeds discovered in Colombia, Panama, and Peru, ranging from 19 to 60 million years old, shed light on how these fruits established a global presence. The seeds are the oldest found in the Western Hemisphere. The extinction of dinosaurs allowed grapes to spread across the world. The forest composition changed after the dinosaurs’ extinction, affecting plants as well. The discovery of grape seeds in South America was a challenging search but led to the identification of a new species. The absence of dinosaurs altered the structure of forests, favoring the growth of climbing plants like grapes. Birds and mammals likely helped spread grape seeds as well. The study of grape seeds shows their resilience and adaptation over time, though it remains unclear why grapes disappeared from Central and South America. Researchers hope to find fossil plants to understand the evolution of tropical forests. The study of plant origins and adaptations aids in understanding their response to the climate crisis.