|Trees of a Pinophyta species:
Araucaria heterophylla (Araucariaceae)
|Orders & Families|
Species of conifers can be found in almost all parts of the world, and are often the most common plants in their habitats, as in the taiga. Conifers are of great economic value, and their wood is mainly used for timber and paper making The wood of conifers is known as softwood, though yew wood is actually quite hard. The division Coniferae contains about 700 living species.
They were the dominant land plants of the Mesozoic era. They were overtaken by the flowering plants, which first appeared in the Cretaceous, and became dominant in the Cainozoic era. Conifers were the main food of herbivorous dinosaurs, and their resins and poisons would have given protection against herbivores.
Conifer cones at National Science Museum, Tokyo