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Re: Banana



>>This brings up the question:
>>How do flowering plants and/or fruits overlap with the dinosaurs?  I seem to
>>recall that flowers evolved either at the end of the Cretaceous or early in
>>the Tertiary, but of course I could be off by a couple hundred million years
>>:>)
>
>The flowering plants (angiosperms) evolved in the later Cretacious.
>Bakker advanced the idea that the dinosaurs "created" flowering plants.
>The idea was that plants evolved to grow quickly and then produce seed
>to reproduce in response to heriborves that were closely cropping the
>plants.  An interesting idea, but I'll leave it to the botany experts
>to debate.

Actually, unquestionable angiosperms ("flowering" or "fruiting" plants) are
present in the early part of the Early Cretaceous (as pollen) or the later
part of the Early Cretaceous (as flowers - these were collected not too far
from where I live!).  The ancestors of the angiosperms date back to the
Late Triassic, and some fossils of these have been recently collected and
described.

Many paleobotanists suggest that angiosperms developed as quick-growers not
as the result of dinosaur feeding, but in response to the ever-changing
nature of their ancestral habitat: river banks.

                                
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.                                   
tholtz@geochange.er.usgs.gov
Vertebrate Paleontologist in Exile                  Phone:      703-648-5280
U.S. Geological Survey                                FAX:      703-648-5420
Branch of Paleontology & Stratigraphy
MS 970 National Center
Reston, VA  22092
U.S.A.