Well-preserved tomatillo fossil oldest found in South America

11/4/2013 | LiveScience.com

The fossil of a tomatillo, dating back 52.2 million years, is the oldest fruit in the tomato family ever discovered in South America, according to scientists at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America. The fossil is flattened, but still looks much like the husk-covered modern tomatillo. "This is the first fossil anybody has ever seen of the entire tomato-potato-eggplant family. It's also pretty old. This actually does match up pretty well with the idea that the Solanaceae family first diversified in South America," said Penn State University paleobotanist Peter Wilf.

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