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Fossil palms found at Vegroni (Municipal Museum of Natural History, Verona. Photo P. Pavone)
Current distribution of palms, whose most ancient fossil remains date as far back as the Cretaceous period (ca. 100 million years ago), results from a variety of factors; first of all, it should be taken into consideration the detachment of the ancient continent Laurasia from Gondwana, with the attendant appearance of new species and genera over the various quarters of the world; secondly, manners of seed dispersal, these usually being quite heavy and therefore not easy to travel, finally poor tolerance of Palms to cold temperatures so that they are bound to grow in tropical and subtropical areas at altitudes not exceeding 3,000 m a.s.l.