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Paleogene Titanosaurs in South America? Paleogene ammonoids in the Persian Gulf? Not quite, but analogous...



McLoughlin, S., R.J. Carpenter, G.J. Jordan, & R.S. Hill. 2008. Seed ferns
survived the end-Cretaceous mass extinction in Tasmania. merican Journal of
Botany. 95:465-471.

ABSTRACT

Seed ferns, dominant elements of the vegetation in many parts of the world
from the Triassic to Cretaceous, were considered to have disappeared at the
end of the Cretaceous together with several other groups that had occupied
key positions in terrestrial and marine ecosystems such as dinosaurs,
plesiosaurs, and ammonoids. Seed-fern demise is generally correlated with
competition from diversifying flowering plants through the Cretaceous and
the global environmental crisis related to the Chicxulub impact event in the
paleotropics at the end of the period. New fossils from Tasmania show that
one seed-fern lineage survived into the Cenozoic by at least 13 million
years. These fossils are described here as a new species, Komlopteris
cenozoicus. Komlopteris is a genus of seed ferns attributed to
Corystospermaceae and until now was not known from sediments younger than
the Early Cretaceous. Discovery of this "Lazarus taxon," together with the
presence of a range of other relictual fossil and extant organisms in
Tasmania, other southern Gondwanan provinces, and some regions of northern
North America and Asia, underscores high-latitude regions as biodiversity
refugia during global environmental crises and highlights their importance
as sources of postextinction radiations.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Email: tholtz@umd.edu   Phone: 301-405-4084
Office: Centreville 1216                        
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/
Fax: 301-314-9661               

Faculty Director, Earth, Life & Time Program, College Park Scholars
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite/
Fax: 301-405-0796

Mailing Address:        Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                        Department of Geology
                        Building 237, Room 1117
                        University of Maryland
                        College Park, MD 20742 USA