- no whippersnapper; and implications
08, 2002 06:45 PDT
this in yesterday on the Envr. News Service (ENS.com; 5.7.02)
right in line with my thoughts on dating non-tree species
is the E Trees NS...) I do not have the source, but recently
box huckleberry (gaylusaccia sp) have been estimated at 12 to
old in Box Huck State Park, PA and the Great Smoky Mtns Nat'l
guessing of course, but I see no reason they couldn't be compared
creosote which is being confirmed now:
Creosote Bush May Be the Oldest Living Thing on Earth
RIVERSIDE, California, May 6, 2002, (ENS) - A creosote bush near
Springs could be the oldest living thing on earth. The creosote
discovery of Jim Cornett, curator at the Palm Springs Desert
of a size and configuration that makes Cornett suspect that it
old, or older, than the 11,700 year old "King Clone"
discovered in the Mojave Desert.
Scientific tests have not yet confirmed Cornett's theory. R.
Taylor, director of the Radiocarbon Lab at the University of
Riverside, offered to perform scientific tests to determine the
the creosote bush in Palm Springs to determine if it is the
living thing on earth.
"The UCR Radiocarbon Lab is happy to collaborate with Jim
Taylor said. "We would have the data back six weeks from
received the samples, at no cost to him."
An original creosote bush can live to be about 100 years old,
but it can
produce clones of itself through a system whereby the inner
and new stems appear on the periphery. This produces a circular
of genetically identical plants, with the rings expanding
a three feet every 500 years. This clone family can live a
Taylor's laboratory was used to determine the age of the
known as King Clone, discovered in the Mojave Desert in the late
by Frank Vasek, a retired UC Riverside professor and a former
The King Clone, which is on Bureau of Land Management land near
Victorville, California, is estimated at 11,700 years old.
the cloned shoots as part of the original plant, that makes it
oldest living thing on earth.
Taylor's Radiocarbon Lab also issued the first dates on a bone
from Kennewick Man, an ancient skeleton found in July 1996 on
of the Columbia River in Kennewick, Washington. That bone
turned out to be 9,300 years old, making it one of the oldest
complete skeletons found in North America. In 1994, Taylor's lab
dated "Spirit Cave Man" at 9,400 years old.
"Science is all about reproducing numbers," said
Taylor. "We would be
glad to help Jim Cornett find the age of the creosote