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Ancient moss cloned itself for 50,000 years

Posted on Tuesday, 3 January, 2012 | Comment icon 6 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

Image credit: CC 2.5 James K. Lindsey

Moss on the Hawaiin Islands is thought to be one of the oldest multicellular organisms on Earth.

The peat moss spreads by making copies of itself meaning that the current crop came from the same founder plant that reached Hawaii tens of thousands of years ago. It is thought that human activity such as its use as a packing material may have helped the moss spread across the islands in recent years. "The peat moss has had explosive growth where it was introduced, especially on Oahu," said study co-author Eric Karlin.

"A moss spreading throughout the Hawaiian Islands (map) appears to be an ancient clone that has copied itself for some 50,000 years—and may be one of the oldest multicellular organisms on Earth, a new study suggests."

  View: Full article |  Source: National Geographic

  Discuss: View comments (6)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Device on 3 January, 2012, 22:18
Wow. Thats pretty smart for moss.
Comment icon #2 Posted by DieChecker on 3 January, 2012, 23:44
There are also geckos in Hawaii that have only females and so every baby lizard is a clone.
Comment icon #3 Posted by LimeGelatin on 4 January, 2012, 5:17
good looking moss
Comment icon #4 Posted by EllJay on 4 January, 2012, 13:26
good looking moss The only good looking moss I know of is Kate Moss.
Comment icon #5 Posted by imagestic on 9 January, 2012, 6:25
There's also Mos Eisley, but that's another story
Comment icon #6 Posted by J. K. on 10 January, 2012, 2:11
Please correct me if I am wrong, as I don't claim to be knowledgeable of such things: wouldn't the same apply to single cell organisms like amoebas?

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