32 million years old tree fossil found in China

Beijing: A team of scientists have discovered a 32 million-year-old fossil of a Dipteronia tree in China’s Yunnan province, authorities said on Monday.

It is for the first time that a fossil from the early Oligocene epoch has been found in East Asia, reports Xinhua news agency.

Dipteronia, deciduous flowering shrubs or small trees, were widely distributed in the Northern Hemisphere during the Palaeogene period, but disappeared in North America from the early Oligocene epoch.

Dipteronia fossils have been unearthed in North America but are rarely found in Asia.

Scientists found that the form of Dipteronia fossil discovered in Yunnan was the same as that in North America, which means that the flora in East Asia and North America was closely related 32 million years ago, said Zhou Zhekun, one of the writers of the article and researcher at Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.