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News Link • Biology, Botany and Zoology

Diversity And Evolution Of African Bamboo

 Hidden away up mountains in the tropics where they provide food for gorillas, just as China’s bamboos provide food for the Giant Panda, there are apparently only 2 species, and they had not been examined in very great detail, except by the gorillas.

It had been thought that they were very closely related to the hundreds of similar bamboos in Asia, but their respective ranges are separated by thousands of miles. As flowering in bamboos is such a rare event, spreading by seed takes a very long time, and the suspicion arose that they might be old enough to represent new genera, and possibly could even be remnants of the earliest temperate bamboos, which spread to Asia on drifting tectonic plates.

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