Plant and Animal Life in the Garden

This garden has been designed to function not only as one of the most beautiful gardens in Texas, but also to be a premier education facility to teach the ancient prehistory of this region. Over fifty species of plants* will be located in the garden, most originating over 100 million years ago. Some will be ancient yet familiar natives. Many will be new to Zilker Botanical Garden from exotic places around the world. Some of the rarest species will be used for scientific study and seed production. The plants* will include gymnosperms (pines, junipers, yews, and cycads), ferns, horsetails, mosses, liverworts, algae, primitive grasses, ancient angiosperms (flowering plants), and palms.

Turtles will be introduced into the new ponds, and gar fish will be added. There is currently abundant dragonfly life in the garden, and the relationship between these relatives of ancient plants and insects such as butterflies and dragonflies will be nurtured and encouraged.  

During the Cretaceous period, pteranodons with wingspans of nearly 25 feet flew over the seas that covered Kansas and Texas. Cruising at speeds as fast as 25 miles per hour, they were able to prey on large fish. Scientists believe their crested heads may have worked like rudders.

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