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Hickory is a common name for
trees In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and Taxonomy (general), organiz ...

trees
composing the
genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), circumscribing) and classifying gr ...
''Carya'', which includes around 18 species. Five or six species are native to
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
,
Indochina Mainland Southeast Asia, also known as the Indochinese Peninsula or Indochina, is the continental portion of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...
, and
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
(
Assam Assam (, ) is a state in Northeast India, northeastern India, south of the eastern Himalayas along the Brahmaputra Valley, Brahmaputra and Barak River valleys. Assam covers an area of . The state is bordered by Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh to ...

Assam
), as many as twelve are native to the United States, four are found in
Mexico Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organi ...

Mexico
, and two to four are native to
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...

Canada
. A number of hickory species are used for products like edible nuts or wood. Hickories are
temperate forest A temperate forest is a forest found between the tropical The tropics are the region of Earth surrounding the Equator. They are delimited in latitude by the Tropic of Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere at N and the Tropic of Capricorn in ...
trees with pinnately compound
leaves A leaf (plural leaves) is the principal lateral appendage of the vascular plant plant stem, stem, usually borne above ground and specialized for photosynthesis. The leaves, stem, flower and fruit together form the shoot system. Leaves are ...

leaves
and large
nuts Nut often refers to: * Nut (fruit) A nut is a fruit composed of an inedible hard shell and a seed, which is generally edible. In general usage and in a Culinary nut, culinary sense, a wide variety of dried seeds are called nuts, but in a botan ...
. Hickory
flower A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom Image:Cerisier du Japon Prunus serrulata.jpg, Cherry blossoms in Paris in full bloom. In botany, blossoms are the flowers of stone fruit fruit tree, trees (genus ''Prunus'') and of some other plan ...

flower
s are small, yellow-green
catkin A catkin or ament is a slim, cylindrical flower A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom Image:Cerisier du Japon Prunus serrulata.jpg, Cherry blossoms in Paris in full bloom. In botany, blossoms are the flowers of stone fruit fruit tre ...

catkin
s produced in spring. They are
wind-pollinated Anemophily or wind pollination is a form of pollination Pollination is the transfer of pollen Pollen Tube Diagram Pollen is a powdery substance consisting of pollen grains which are male microgametophytes of seed plants, which produce mal ...
and self-incompatible. The
fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the ...

fruit
is a globose or oval nut, long and diameter, enclosed in a four-valved
husk Husk (or hull) in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" com ...
, which splits open at maturity. The nut shell is thick and bony in most species, and thin in a few, notably the pecan (''C. illinoinensis''); it is divided into two halves, which split apart when the seed .


Etymology

The name "hickory" derives from a
Native American Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans in the United States * Indigenous peoples in Canada, the indigenous p ...
word in an
Algonquian Algonquin or Algonquian—and the variation Algonki(a)n—may refer to: Indigenous peoples *Algonquian languages, a large subfamily of Native American languages in a wide swath of eastern North America from Canada to Virginia **Algonquin languag ...
language (perhaps
Powhatan in a longhouse at Werowocomoco (detail of John Smith map, 1612) The Powhatan people (; also spelled Powatan) may refer to any of the indigenous Algonquian peoples, Algonquian people that are traditionally from eastern Native American tribes i ...
). It is a shortening of ''pockerchicory'', ''pocohicora'', or a similar word, which may be the name for the hickory tree's nut, or may be a milky drink made from such nuts. The genus name ''Carya'' is grc, κάρυον, ''káryon'', meaning "
nut Nut often refers to: * Nut (fruit), a fruit composed of a hard shell and a seed * Nut (food), collective noun for dry and edible fruits or seeds * Nut (hardware), a fastener used with a bolt Nut or Nuts may also refer to: Places * Nomenclature of ...
".


Species and classification

The genus ''Carya'' is in the walnut family,
Juglandaceae The Juglandaceae are a plant family known as the walnut family. They are trees, or sometimes shrubs, in the order Fagales. Members of this family are native to the Americas, Eurasia, and Southeast Asia. The nine or ten genera in the family have a ...
. In the
APG system The APG system (Angiosperm Phylogeny Group system) of plant classification is the first version of a modern, mostly molecular A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings. ...
, this family is included in the order
Fagales The Fagales are an order (biology), order of flowering plants, including some of the best-known trees. The order name is derived from genus ''Fagus'', beeches. They belong among the rosid group of dicotyledons. The families and genera currently ...
. Several species are known to hybridize, with around nine accepted, named hybrids.
Beaked hickory ''Annamocarya'' is a genus of flowering plants in the family Juglandaceae, containing only one species, ''Annamocarya sinensis'', native to southwestern China (Guangxi, Guizhou, Yunnan) and northern Vietnam. It is related to the Hickory, hickories ...
(''Annamocarya sinensis'') is a species formerly classified as ''Carya sinensis'', but now considered its own genus, ''
Annamocarya ''Annamocarya'' is a genus of flowering plants in the family Juglandaceae, containing only one species, ''Annamocarya sinensis'', native to southwestern China (Guangxi, Guizhou, Yunnan) and northern Vietnam. It is related to the Hickory, hickories ...
''.


Asian hickories

''Carya'' sect. ''Sinocarya'' *'' Carya dabieshanensis'' M.C. Liu – Dabie Shan hickory (may be synonymous with ''C. cathayensis'') *'' Carya cathayensis'' Sarg. – Chinese hickory *'' Carya hunanensis'' W.C.Cheng & R.H.Chang – Hunan hickory *'' Carya kweichowensis'' Kuang & A.M.Lu – Guizhou hickory *'' Carya poilanei'' Leroy – Poilane's hickory *'' Carya tonkinensis'' Lecomte – Vietnamese hickory


North American hickories

''Carya'' sect. ''Carya'' – typical hickories *'' Carya floridana'' Sarg. – scrub hickory *'''' (Mill.) Sweet – pignut hickory, pignut, sweet pignut, coast pignut hickory, smoothbark hickory, swamp hickory, broom hickory *'' Carya laciniosa'' (Mill.) K.Koch – shellbark hickory, shagbark hickory, bigleaf shagbark hickory, kingnut, big shellbark, bottom shellbark, thick shellbark, western shellbark *'''' () Nutt. – nutmeg hickory, swamp hickory, bitter water hickory *'' Carya ovalis'' (Wangenh.) Sarg. – red hickory, spicebark hickory, sweet pignut hickory (treated as a synonym of ''C. glabra'' by ''Flora N. Amer.'') *'''' (Mill.) K.Koch – shagbark hickory **''C. o.'' var. ''ovata'' – northern shagbark hickory **''C. o.'' var. ''australis'' – southern shagbark hickory, Carolina hickory (syn. ''C. carolinae-septentrionalis'') *'' Carya pallida'' (Ashe) Engl. & Graebn. – sand hickory *'' Carya texana'' Buckley – black hickory *''
Carya tomentosa ''Carya tomentosa'', (mockernut hickory, mockernut, white hickory, whiteheart hickory, hognut, bullnut) is a tree in the Juglandaceae The Juglandaceae are a plant family known as the walnut family. They are trees, or sometimes shrubs, in the or ...

Carya tomentosa
'' (Poir.) Nutt. – mockernut hickory (syn. ''C. alba'') *'' Carya washingtonensis''
Manchester Manchester () is the most-populous city and metropolitan borough A metropolitan borough is a type of local government district The districts of England (also known as local authority districts or local government districts to distinguis ...
– Miocene of Kittitas County, Washington ''Carya'' sect. ''Apocarya'' – pecans *'''' (F.Michx.) Nutt. – bitter pecan or water hickory *''
Carya cordiformis ''Carya cordiformis'', the bitternut hickory, also called bitternut or swamp hickory, is a large pecan hickory with commercial stands located mostly north of the other pecan hickories. Bitternut hickory is cut and sold in mixture with the true hi ...

Carya cordiformis
'' (Wangenh.) K.Koch – bitternut hickory *'''' (Wangenh.) K.Koch – pecan *'''' W.E. Manning – Mexican hickory


Ecology

Hickory is used as a food plant by the
larvae A larva (plural larvae ) is a distinct juvenile form many animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that f ...

larvae
of some
Lepidoptera Lepidoptera ( ; ) is an order Order or ORDER or Orders may refer to: * Orderliness Orderliness is associated with other qualities such as cleanliness Cleanliness is both the abstract state of being clean and free from germs, dirt, trash, or ...

Lepidoptera
species. These include: * Luna moth (''
Actias luna The Luna moth (''Actias luna'') also known as the American moon moth is a Nearctic The Nearctic realm is one of the eight biogeographic realms constituting the Earth's land surface. Image:Ecozone Nearctic.svg, 400px, The Nearctic realm The N ...

Actias luna
'') *
Brown-tail The brown-tail moth (''Euproctis chrysorrhoea'') is a moth Moths are a paraphyletic In taxonomy, a group is paraphyletic if it consists of the group's last common ancestor and all descendants of that ancestor excluding a few—typic ...
(''Euproctis chrysorrhoea'') * ''
Coleophora ''Coleophora'' is a very large genus of moths of the family Coleophoridae. It contains some 1,350 described species. The genus is represented on all continents, but the majority are found in the Nearctic and Palaearctic regions. Many authors have ...
'' case-bearers, ''C. laticornella'' and ''C. ostryae'' * Regal moths (''Citheronia regalis''), whose caterpillars are known as hickory horn-devils *
Walnut sphinx ''Amorpha juglandis'', the walnut sphinx, is the only species in the monotypic taxon, monotypic moth genus ''Amorpha'', which is in the family Sphingidae, erected by Jacob Hübner in 1809. The species was Species description, first described by Ja ...
(''Amorpha juglandis'') * The bride (
nominate subspecies In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interacti ...
'' Catocala neogama neogama'') *
Hickory tussock moth ''Lophocampa caryae'', the hickory tiger moth, hickory tussock moth, or hickory halisidota, is a moth in the family Erebidae and the tribe Arctiini_(erebid_moths), Arctiini, the tiger moths. The species is widely distributed in the eastern half of ...
(''Lophocampa caryae'') The hickory leaf stem gall phylloxera (''
Phylloxera Grape phylloxera is an insect pest of commercial grapevine ''Vitis'' (grapevines) is a genus of 79 accepted species of vining plants in the flowering plant family Vitaceae. The genus is made up of species predominantly from the Northern hem ...

Phylloxera
caryaecaulis'') also uses the hickory tree as a food source. Phylloxeridae are related to
aphid Aphids are small sap-sucking insects and members of the Taxonomic rank, superfamily Aphidoidea. Common names include greenfly and blackfly, although individuals within a species can vary widely in color. The group includes the fluffy white Erio ...

aphid
s and have a similarly complex life cycle. Eggs hatch in early spring and the
gall Galls (from Latin ''galla'', 'oak-apple') or ''cecidia'' (from Greek ''kēkidion'', anything gushing out) are a kind of swelling growth on the external Tissue (biology), tissues of plants, fungi, or animals. Plant galls are abnormal outgrowths ...

gall
s quickly form around the developing insects. ''Phylloxera'' galls may damage weakened or stressed hickories, but are generally harmless. Deformed leaves and twigs can rain down from the tree in the spring as
squirrel Squirrels are members of the family In human society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social terri ...

squirrel
s break off infected tissue and eat the galls, possibly for the protein content or because the galls are fleshy and tasty to the squirrels. The pecan gall curculio ('' Conotrachelus elegans'') is a true weevil species also found feeding on galls of the hickory leaf stem gall phylloxera. The (''Knulliana cincta'') is also found on hickories.


Evolutionary history

Fossil and molecular data suggest the genus ''Carya'' may have diversified during the
Miocene The Miocene ( ) is the first geological epoch In geochronology, an epoch is a subdivision of the geologic timescale that is longer than an age (geology), age but shorter than a period (geology), period. The current epoch is the Holocene Epoch of ...
. Recent discoveries of ''Carya'' fruit fossils further support the hypothesis that the genus has long been a member of Eastern North American landscapes, however its range has contracted and Carya is no longer extant west of the
Rocky Mountains The Rocky Mountains, also known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with simila ...

Rocky Mountains
. The earliest ancestors of hickories are identified from
Cretaceous The Cretaceous ( ) is a geological period A geological period is one of the several subdivisions of geologic time enabling cross-referencing of rocks and geologic events from place to place. These periods form elements of a hierarchy of division ...

Cretaceous
pollen grains. The ''Carya'' as we know it first appears in
Oligocene The Oligocene ( ) is a geologic epoch (geology), epoch of the Paleogene Geologic time scale, Period and extends from about 33.9 million to 23 million years before the present ( to ). As with other older geologic periods, the rock beds that define ...
strata 34 million years ago. Fossils of early hickory nuts show simpler, thinner shells than modern species with the exception of
pecan The pecan (''Carya illinoinensis'') is a species of hickory native to the southern United States and northern Mexico in the region of the Mississippi River. The tree is cultivated for its seed in the southern United States, primarily in Georgia ...

pecan
s, suggesting that the trees gradually developed defenses to
rodent Rodents (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republi ...

rodent
seed predation. During this time, the genus had a distribution across the Northern Hemisphere, but the Pleistocene Ice Age beginning 2 million years ago completely obliterated it from Europe. The distribution of Carya in North America also contracted and it completely disappeared from the continent west of the
Rocky Mountains The Rocky Mountains, also known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with simila ...

Rocky Mountains
. Since fossil records show North America as having the largest number of Juglandaceae species, it is likely that the genus originated there and later spread to Europe and Asia.


Fruit

Some fruits are borderline and difficult to categorize. Hickory nuts (''Carya'') and walnuts (''
Juglans Walnut trees are any species of tree in the plant genus ''Juglans'', the type genus In biological taxonomy the type genus is the genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classifica ...
'') in the
Juglandaceae The Juglandaceae are a plant family known as the walnut family. They are trees, or sometimes shrubs, in the order Fagales. Members of this family are native to the Americas, Eurasia, and Southeast Asia. The nine or ten genera in the family have a ...
family grow within an outer husk; these fruits are sometimes considered to be
drupe In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the A ...
s or drupaceous nuts, rather than true botanical nuts. "Tryma" is a specialized term for such nut-like drupes.


Uses

Hickory
wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. ...

wood
is hard, stiff, dense and shock resistant. There are woods stronger than hickory and woods that are harder, but the combination of strength, toughness, hardness, and stiffness found in hickory wood is not found in any other commercial wood. It is used for
tool A tool is an object that can extend an individual's ability to modify features of the surrounding environment. Although many animals use tool use by animals, simple tools, only human beings, whose use of stone tools dates back Paleolithic, hun ...

tool
handles,
pickaxe A pickaxe, pick-axe, or pick is a generally T-shaped hand tool A hand tool is any tool A tool is an object that can extend an individual's ability to modify features of the surrounding environment. Although many animals use simple to ...

pickaxe
handles, bows,
wheel File:Roue primitive.png, An early wheel made of a solid piece of wood A wheel is a circular component that is intended to rotate on an axle An axle or axletree is a central shaft for a rotating wheel or gear. On wheeled vehicles, the ...

wheel
spokes,
cart A cart or dray (Aus. & NZ) is a vehicle A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine A machine is a man-made device that uses power to apply forces and control movement to perform an action. Machines can be driven by animals and peo ...

cart
s, drumsticks,
lacrosse Lacrosse is a team sport A team sport includes any sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoymen ...

lacrosse
stick handles,
golf club A golf club is a club used to hit a golf ball in a game of golf. Each club is composed of a shaft with a grip and a club head. Wood (golf), Woods are mainly used for long-distance fairway or tee shots; iron (golf), irons, the most versatile class ...
shafts (sometimes still called ''hickory stick'', even though made of
steel Steel is an alloy An alloy is an admixture of metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appe ...

steel
or
graphite Graphite (), archaically referred to as plumbago, is a Crystallinity, crystalline form of the element carbon with its atoms arranged in a Hexagonal crystal system, hexagonal structure. It occurs naturally in this form and is the most stable for ...

graphite
), the bottom of
skis A ski is a narrow strip of semi-rigid material worn underfoot to glide over snow. Substantially longer than wide and characteristically employed in pairs, skis are attached to ski boot Ski boots are used in to provide a way to attach the ski ...
, walking sticks, and for punitive use as a
switch In electrical engineering Electrical engineering is an engineering discipline concerned with the study, design, and application of equipment, devices, and systems which use electricity, electronics The field of electronics is a branch of p ...
(like
hazel The hazel (''Corylus'') is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxon ...

hazel
), and especially as a cane-like hickory stick in schools and use by parents.
Paddles A paddle is a tool used for pushing against liquids, either as a form of marine propulsion, propulsion of a boat (paddling) or as an implement for mixing. Canoe and kayak paddles Materials and designs Paddles commonly used in canoes consist o ...
are often made from hickory. This property of hickory wood has left a trace in some Native American languages: in
Ojibwe The Ojibwe, Ojibwa, Chippewa, or Saulteaux are an Anishinaabe The Anishinaabe are a group of culturally related Indigenous peoples resident in what are now called Canada and the United States. They include the Odawa, Saulteaux, Ojibwe (inc ...
, hickory is called ''mitigwaabaak'', a compound of ''mitigwaab'' "bow" and the final ''-aakw'' "hardwood tree". Due to its grain structure, hickory is more susceptible to moisture absorption than other species of wood, and is therefore more prone to shrinkage, warping or swelling with changes in humidity.
Baseball bat A baseball bat is a smooth wooden or metal club Club may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media * Club (magazine), ''Club'' (magazine) * Club, a ''Yie Ar Kung-Fu'' character * Clubs (suit), a suit of playing cards * Club music * "Club", by K ...

Baseball bat
s were formerly made of hickory, but are now more commonly made of
ash Ash or ashes are the solid remnants of fire BBQ. Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the exothermic chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction Product (chemistry), products. Fire is hot because th ...
. Hickory is replacing ash as the wood of choice for Scottish
shinty Shinty ( gd, camanachd, iomain) is a team game played with sticks and a ball. Shinty is now played mainly in the Scottish Highlands The Highlands ( sco, the Hielands; gd, a’ Ghàidhealtachd , 'the place of the Gaels The Gaels ( ; ga ...
sticks (also known as camans). Hickory was extensively used for the construction of early aircraft. Hickory is also highly prized for
wood-burning stove A wood-burning stove (or wood burner or log burner in the UK) is a heating or cooking appliance capable of burning wood fuel Pile of wood pellets Wood fuel (or fuelwood) is a fuel such as firewood, charcoal, Woodchips, chips, sheets, wood pe ...
s and s, as its density and high energy content make it an efficient fuel. Hickory wood is also a preferred type for Smoking (cooking), smoking Curing (food preservation), cured meats. In the Southern United States, hickory is popular for cooking barbecue, as hickory grows abundantly in the region and adds flavor to the meat. Hickory is sometimes used for wood flooring due to its durability in resisting wear and character. Hickory wood is not noted for rot resistance. A Bark (botany), bark extract from shagbark hickory is also used in an edible syrup similar to maple syrup, with a slightly bitter, smoky taste. The Cherokee Indians would produce a green dye from hickory bark, which they used to dye cloth. When this bark was mixed with maple bark, it produced a yellow dye pigment. The ashes of burnt hickory wood were traditionally used to produce a strong lye (potash) fit for soapmaking. The nuts of some species are palatable, while others are bitter and only suitable for animal feed. Shagbark and shellbark hickory, along with
pecan The pecan (''Carya illinoinensis'') is a species of hickory native to the southern United States and northern Mexico in the region of the Mississippi River. The tree is cultivated for its seed in the southern United States, primarily in Georgia ...

pecan
, are regarded by some as the finest nut trees. Pecans are the most important nut tree native to North America. When cultivated for their
nut Nut often refers to: * Nut (fruit), a fruit composed of a hard shell and a seed * Nut (food), collective noun for dry and edible fruits or seeds * Nut (hardware), a fastener used with a bolt Nut or Nuts may also refer to: Places * Nomenclature of ...
s, clonal (Grafting, grafted) trees of the same cultivar cannot pollinate each other because of their self-incompatibility. Two or more cultivars must be planted together for successful pollination. Seedlings (grown from hickory nuts) will usually have sufficient genetic variation.


Gallery

File:Carya nuts.jpg, Comparison of North American ''Carya'' nuts File:Hickory nuts 6060.JPG, Ripe hickory nuts ready to fall File:2014-11-02 14 36 58 Hickory foliage during autumn along Woosamonsa Road in Hopewell Township, New Jersey.jpg, Autumn foliage


See also

* Walnut * Hican


References

*Philips, Roger. ''Trees of North America and Europe''. Random House, Inc., New York. , 1979.


External links


''Carya'' images at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University Plant Image Database
* Damery, Jonathan
"The ''Carya'' Collection."
''Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University website.'' Accessed 26 May 2020. {{Taxonbar, from=Q142788 Carya, * Wood Edible nuts and seeds Native American cuisine of the Southeastern Woodlands Plants used in Native American cuisine Plant dyes Extant Oligocene first appearances