Come to See Living Fossils in Great Basin National Park

Living Fossils Living Fossils Living Fossils

Great Basin National Park has suffered a lot in the history,not only the natural disasters like aggression of powerful foreign plants(cheatgrass),but also man-made calamity,such as Groundwater Depletion and globle warming nowadays.What worse,now it may face a threat that is just around the corner—a thermal power plant is to be built here.As is known to all,a thermal power plant may easily pollute the soil and water that are necessary for plants,as well as waters that animals depend on.Different from other deserts all over the world, desert altiplano in the  West of American is not buring and sandy,but totally freezing on the slopes.It is the place that many drought-adapted vegetation grow,such as pinyon pine, hackmatack, sagebrush and so on,all of which are rooted deeply in rocky soils.Though Great Basin National Park doesn’t have the same fame as Yellowstone or Yosemite,it has the grand scene of mountains and possesses the rare living fossils of earth.
Prometheus,a bristlecone pine,is transplanted from Great Basin in 1964, according to car-dated text,it has a age of 4900 years,which is the longest in the world. Prometheus belongs to a unique species of Great Basin bristlecone—Pinus longaeva,which is the longest of this species.Why?While other plants suffer from krumholtz(losing branches because of wind and snow),bristlecone grows at a low rate and has a special shape of leaves,making itself a survivor.
If you want to pay a visit to these trees,a hiking road will show you the way from parking area to 3 main groves of bristlecone pine.The trip is 4.6 miles (about 7.4km) long but at a height of 3000 meters,which will make you more easily to get tired.And as soon as you arrive at the groves,you will be shocked by the breathtaking signs of glacial moraines that is suitable for bristlecone to grow.What’s else,you can also walk a little further to take a view of rock glacier in the desert—only can be seen in Great Basin National Park.

About the Author