Can you believe this, seeds from a plant that was buried by squirrels (I kid you not 🙂 ) 30,000 years ago, was found in burrows of the Arctic ground squirrels in Siberia. I know it sounds a bit out there, but let me tell you a bit about the Arctic ground squirrel first.
This squirrel is found not only in the Arctic Circle but also in Northern Canada, Alaska, British Columbia and Siberia. They are about 39 cm or 15 inches, the males are slightly bigger. They hibernate over the winter months.
They will carry food in their cheeks back to their den, such as grasses, mushrooms, bilberries, roots, stalks, leaves, flowers and seeds.
These particular seeds the squirrels took back to the den froze, and stayed frozen for 30,000 years. The seeds were found 38.1 meters or 125 feet underground. Experts in Moscow used new techniques to grow these seeds, and you can see the results in the picture above. It’s a strange feeling knowing that what you are looking at actually started life 30,000 years ago.
There is a good article about this in ABC Science it also explains how they worked out the age of the seeds.
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