Baobab trees have been around since the time of Jesus Christ and Pharaohs. Looking more like outsized fruits, “they are all between 1,000 and more than 2, 500 years old”, says a BBC report. These proud oldies are fast dying out in mysterious situations. Scientists have no idea what ails the giants who can endure harsh conditions. Because, the trees could survive even the sultriest of weather by storing in their trunks huge quantities of water.
A team of international scientists has found that most of baobab trees in Zimbabwe, Namibia, South Africa, Botswana and Zambiahave died out in last 12 years. The trees that offer nests to birds die of mysterious reason. The researchers from Universities in South Africa, Romania and the US attribute it to climate change. However, they have no evidence regarding the impact of climate change. The study wholly admits that the tree loss is "an event of an unprecedented magnitude".
The finding appeared in the journal Nature Plants dismisses any epidemic as the cause. "We suspect that the demise of monumental baobabs may be associated at least in part with significant modifications of climate conditions that affect southern Africa in particular," says the team.
They came across the sad demise of trees while on a different study. Since 2005, the team of researchers has been visiting ancient trees to probe their structure and age. They found 8 of the 13 oldest trees and 5 of the 6 largest trees either died or partly collapsed. These huge trees usually have multiple stems and trunks of varying ages. “In some cases all the stems died suddenly, BBC reports. These giant trees are much like dinosaurs of our time.