Modern conifers are characterised by having male pollen-producing and female seed-producing cones. They are totally reliant on wind to move the pollen from the male to the female. The type of scaly female cone produced can vary widely between the different families. Some have familiar woody pine cones, while others, like the yew, have single, scaled, berry-like, red cones. Male cones, on the other hand, are all small and very similar. The modern conifer order contains eight families and over 600 species, including pines, cypress, firs and yew. Their leaves are mostly needle-shaped and scale-like. They are found everywhere except for the driest deserts and highest mountains.
Scientific name: Pinales
The following habitats are found across the Modern conifers distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
Discover the other animals and plants that lived during the following geological time periods.