Fossil find in California shakes up the natural history of cycad plants

Cycads, a group of gymnosperms which can resemble miniature palm trees (like the popular sago palm houseplant) were long thought to be “living fossils,” a group that had evolved minimally since the time of the dinosaurs. Now, a well-preserved 80-million-year-old pollen cone discovered in California has rewritten scientific understanding of the plants.