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Ghosts of Evolution

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Published on Nov 25, 2013

What does a ginkgo tree have in common with a dinosaur?
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Every fall, in cities like New York, the smell of vomit fills the crisp air. The culprit? The pungent seeds of the ginkgo biloba tree. So why would a tree evolve such a disgusting and revolting way to disperse its genes and make baby trees? Why not be more like the delicious apple?

Join me for an evolutionary ghost story. We'll find out why the ginkgo is so weird, visit with some prehistoric beasts, and learn how an avocado is a bit like a dodo bird
Check out "Ghosts of Evolution" by Connie Barlow: http://amzn.to/1iLBpsb

Why the avocado should have gone the way of the dodo: http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/food/...

More about evolutionary anachronisms: http://sydkab.wordpress.com/tag/evolu...

The ginkgo is Earth's oldest tree: http://e360.yale.edu/feature/peter_cr...

Janzen and Martin's 1982 paper "Neotropical Anachronisms: The Fruits the Gomphotheres Ate": http://bit.ly/1aO0qiY

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Have an idea for an episode or an amazing science question you want answered? Leave a comment below!

Tweet at me: @jtotheizzoe
Email me: itsokaytobesmart AT gmail DOT com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/itsokaytobesmart
For more awesome science, check out: http://www.itsokaytobesmart.com

Joe Hanson - Host and writer
Joe Nicolosi - Director
Amanda Fox - Producer
Katie Graham - Director of Photography
Andrew Matthews - Editor and Motion Graphics
Kate Eads - Production Manager

Filmed at Onion Creek Productions in Austin, TX

Thanks to Dan Silver for the footage of ginkgo trees in NYC
Produced by PBS Digital Studios: http://www.youtube.com/user/pbsdigita...

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More videos:
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Why Do Things Sound Scary? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JAym6...

Want even MORE?
Monuments http://youtu.be/07K0vo-d1HA

Animal Superpowers
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e69yaW...

  • Caption author (Chinese (Taiwan))

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