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'Tree of Life' Africa's Baobabs is Under Mysterious Threat, Dying Abruptly

World | Associated Press | July 12, 2018, 4:50 pm
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 Africa's ancient baobab, with its distinctive swollen trunk and known as the 'tree of life,' is under a new and mysterious threat, with some of the largest and oldest dying abruptly in recent years. (Image: AP)

Africa's ancient baobab, with its distinctive swollen trunk and known as the 'tree of life,' is under a new and mysterious threat, with some of the largest and oldest dying abruptly in recent years. (Image: AP)

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 Nine of the 13 oldest baobabs, aged between 1,000 and 2,500 years, have died over the past dozen years, according to a study published in the scientific journal Nature Plants. (Image: AP)

Nine of the 13 oldest baobabs, aged between 1,000 and 2,500 years, have died over the past dozen years, according to a study published in the scientific journal Nature Plants. (Image: AP)

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 Climate change, with its rising temperatures and increasing drought conditions, is a suspected factor but no definite cause is known. The deaths occurred in the southern African countries of Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. (Image: AP)

Climate change, with its rising temperatures and increasing drought conditions, is a suspected factor but no definite cause is known. The deaths occurred in the southern African countries of Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. (Image: AP)

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 The sudden collapse is

The sudden collapse is "an event of unprecedented magnitude," the study says. (Image: AP)

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