Living fossil  

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Welwitschia has been called the ugliest plant in the world, the plant is considered a living fossil.
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Welwitschia has been called the ugliest plant in the world, the plant is considered a living fossil.

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Living fossil is an informal term for any living species (or clade) of organism which appears to be the same as a species otherwise only known from fossils and has no close living relatives. These species have all survived major extinction events, and generally retain low taxonomic diversities. A species which successfully radiates (forming many new species after a possible genetic bottleneck) has become too successful to be considered a "living fossil". However, the term is frequently misinterpreted.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Living fossil" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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