A scientist in China just stumbled upon some 2.5 million year old peach pits -- and they hold some astonishing secrets.
Scientists have just uncovered what they believe to be the oldest peach pits yet discovered on Earth — and they were found near a bus station in China.
It’s an important finding in scientists’ understanding of how Paleo peoples ate and how fruit like the peach evolved, according to a Discovery News report.
A scientist by the name of Tao Su, who is an associated professor at Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, found eight fossilized peach indocarps (pits) that are dated at more than 2.5 million years old. He found it near his house in Kunming in southwest China. Road construction near his house had exposed rock from the late Pliocene era, enabling the find. The fossils were actually surprisingly modern, Su found.
So he teamed up with Peter Wilf, a professor of paleobotany at Pennsylvania State University, to study them further, and they published a paper in the journal Scientific Reports. They found that the fossils were identical to modern peaches.
It’s an indication that ancient peoples probably ate peaches pretty similar to the ones we eat today, and they’ve always been a popular form of sustenance for humans.
Peaches are known as a tropical fruit, but they are believed to have originated in China. Scientists don’t know much about how they evolved, so this finding is actually a fairly big deal in the world of botany. Archaeologists have found evidence of peach consumption dating back as far as 8,000 years, and no wild population of peaches has ever been discovered.
These peaches would have been fairly small by commercial standards, at just a little over 2 inches in diameter. But it would have been just as tasty.