Some of the continent’s oldest fossilized seeds found in Piura

May 31st, 2010

Researchers were able to get a snapshot of the type of plant life that existed in Peru 45 million years ago with the discovery of fossilized seeds in Talara province, Piura.

Twenty varieties of seeds were found between the 12th and 19th of May by researchers from the United States, in the area of the Pariñas dry forest and the Punta Balcones beach. The team was led by palaeobotanist Steven Manchester from the Miami Natural History Museum.

Among the finds were guanábana, coco, mango and even grapes… the oldest grapes discovered in South America.

It was the grapes that were the biggest find. In addition to being from so early on in the continent’s history, they were of a variety only found in Asia and Africa. “Here in South America this species has become extinct”, Manchester explained.

The team explained that the seeds were found in an unprotected area and have asked Peruvian authorities to preserve the site so that further studies can be undertaken.

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