Mar 8

This week we have crossed the Atlantic to see if the Wildscreen USA team have a different approach to the amazing species ARKive has to offer. Will a seasonal visitor be favoured by this week’s team member like it was for Susan Russell, or something slightly more stationary?

Liana Vitali – ARKive Science, Education and Outreach Officer, Wildscreen USA

Favourite species? Bristlecone pine

Why? It’s my favorite species because it’s one of, if not the oldest living organisms on the planet. It has amazingly twisted branches and although at first glance it appears to have withered away, it’s really thriving underneath; a kind of diamond in the rough. Finally, the tree ring growths are used to study climate change since these trees date back over 4,000 years ago. It’s mind-boggling to think that you can touch a living tree that was on Earth well before the pyramids were built!

Favourite bristlecone pine image on ARKive:

Bristlecone pine image

Bristlecone pines are thought to be one of the world's oldest living organisms

The bristlecone pine is classified as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. As a slowly regenerating plant, future climate and environmental conditions could pose a future threat to future populations of this species. Diseases and insect pests are injurious to the bristlecone pine, as well as fires and vandalism. The location of ‘Methuselah’, thought to be the oldest living tree at around 4,789 years old, is kept secret to avoid vandalism.

 See more photos and videos of the bristlecone pine.