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Peach dates back 2.6 mln years: research

(Xinhua)    11:47, December 06, 2015
Peach dates back 2.6 mln years: research

KUNMING, Dec. 5 -- Research of peach seeds fossils showed the fruit existed more than 2.6 million years ago and are far older than previous assumptions, researchers said Saturday.

Eight peach kernel fossils found in southwest China's Kunming date 2.6 million years ago. Previously, the oldest fossilized peach seed was no more than 10,000 years old, Su Tao, a paleoecologist at Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG), told Xinhua.

Research of the fossils, first found in 2010, was published in the British journal Scientific Reports in late November with the title "Peaches preceded humans: Fossil evidence from SW China."

The fossils also strengthened the belief that peaches originated in China. The Latin name of peach trees, prunus persica, suggest they were once believed to be from Persia, central Asia, he added.

Primates might have consumed peaches before human beings existed, according to the joint research of XTBG, University of Pennsylvania, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Kunming University of Science and Technology.

The fossils also lend researchers a glimpse into the environment and climate of 2.6 million years ago, which is the subject of further studies, Su said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Kong Defang,Bianji)

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