WTF Fun Fact 12697 – Sharks Are Older Than Trees

Everything on Earth has evolved over millions of years to take its current form. So, in some sense, it can be hard to look back and make a firm division between a day when trees and sharks did and didn’t exist.

Still, there’s just really no comparison when you look at ever the more conservative numbers. Even if we go back to the species Archaeopteris, commonly considered the first species of “tree,” whose remains have been found in the Sahara desert, the now-extinct species “only” goes back 350 million years.

The numbers get kind of mind-blowing when you’re talking about evolution.

Sharks, on the other hand? Well, they go back 400 million years. And while that may seem like only a slight difference in number, 50 million years is A LOT of time (more than humans are really capable of conceiving).

We’re not sure which we would have guessed had come first – trees just seem older for some reason, but all evidence points to life starting in the oceans and not on the planet’s surface.

Sharks and trees aren’t something we compare very often, but both species have survived mass extinction events and hold secrets to the past that we can only dream of discovering.

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Source: “Respect: Sharks are Older than Trees” — Smithsonian Magazine

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