Science: Primeval Palms

While hunting outside the Utah town of Redmond, Homer Behunin, 49, an amateur geologist, took a shot at a large male deer. The wounded buck ran off. As Behunin followed in hot pursuit, he stumbled onto a far more important prize: the fossilized remains of a primeval palm tree that may be the oldest flowering plant ever found.

At first glance, the 4-ft.-long, buff-colored fossilized log that Behunin discovered seemed not at all remarkable. It lay in a countryside of desert valleys in central Utah that 150 million years ago was a lush tropical...

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