See how scientists revive a plant species thought to be extinct

A fern thought to have gone extinct 60 years ago due to the grazing appetites of generations goats (which were originally introduced to the South Atlantic island of Ascension by Portuguese explorers in the 1500s) is making a tenuous comeback under laboratory conditions within London’s Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.

Finding a single plant, or in this case four plants, gives botanists a chance to resurrect species which grow from a unique construct of genetics which could prove valuable for specific human exploitation or for the environment in general, such as an ability to withstand climate change. View photos of how the tiny Parsley Fern (Anogramma ascensionis) was nurtured on a mountainside in order to the capture spores for reproduction and read more here.

Flickr:Ascension/startledrabbit, Kew/Márcio Cabral de Moura

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