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Which of the following is a living fossil?
A. Pinus
B. Ginkgo biloba
C. Thuja
D. Deodar

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Last updated date: 13th Jun 2024
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Answer
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Hint: The living fossil is defined as the organisms that are known for the similar characters of the other species or it is known only from the fossil record. These organisms survive but their close relatives resemble its characteristics and are extinct.

Complete answer:
These are species that are extinct taxon and closely resembling organisms that are only known from the fossil record. These are commonly of species-poor lineage and exhibit stasis over geographically long time scales.
Living fossils can be in animals or in plants. Living fossils exhibit two main characteristics. These are
-Living organisms that are members of taxa which remained recognizable in the fossil record over a geographically long time scale.
-They should have little morphological divergence whether from an early member of a lineage or among their extinct (living) species.
Apart from these two, one more important characteristic is that they have little taxonomic diversity.
Living fossils include Ginkgo biloba, Limulus etc.
Ginkgo biloba is also known as maidenhair tree and is a gymnosperm plant. It is found to be very old species with some fossils dating back from 270 million years ago. It is native to China and has various uses in traditional medicine and can be used as a source of food. The plant is dioecious in nature. The plant has erect branches and is rooted in the bottom due to which it opposes the wind and snow damage.
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Hence, the correct answer is option (B).

Note: The plant has various uses like they are used as a source of food, used as a traditional medicine for the treatment of Alzheimer disease used as a dietary supplement.
Besides all these uses, it is having some adverse effects like the overconsumption of its seeds which leads to the depletion of vitamins.