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Angiosperm-like plants may have existed in Middle Triassic (free pdf)



From:  Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

A new non-dino paper that may be interest:

Peter A. Hochuli and Susanne Feist-Burkhardt (2013).
Angiosperm-like pollen and Afropollis from the Middle Triassic
(Anisian) of the Germanic Basin (Northern Switzerland).
Frontiers in Plant Science. (advance online publication
DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2013.00344
http://www.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fpls.2013.00344/abstract


Here we report on angiosperm-like pollen and Afropollis from the
Anisian (Middle Triassic, 247.2–242.0 Ma) of a mid-latitudinal site in
Northern Switzerland. Small monosulcate pollen grains with typical
reticulate (semitectate) sculpture, columellate structure of the
sexine and thin nexine show close similarities to early angiosperm
pollen known from the Early Cretaceous. However, they differ in their
extremely thin inner layer (nexine). Six different pollen types (I–VI)
are differentiated based on size, reticulation pattern, and exine
structure. The described pollen grains show all the essential features
of angiosperm pollen. However, considering the lack of a continuous
record throughout the lower part of the Mesozoic and the comparison
with the oldest Cretaceous finds we suggest an affinity to an
angiosperm stem group. Together with the previously published records
from the Middle Triassic of the Barents Sea area the angiosperm-like
pollen grains reflect a considerable diversity of the parent plants
during the Middle Triassic. Sedimentological evidence and associated
palynofloras also suggest a remarkable ecological range for these
plants. Associated with these grains we found pollen comparable to the
genus Afropollis. Representatives of this genus are commonly recorded
in Lower Cretaceous sediments of low latitudes, but until now had no
record from the lower part of the Mesozoic.

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Press and news release:

http://www.mediadesk.uzh.ch/articles/2013/bluetenpflanzen-sind-100-millionen-jahre-aelter-als-bisher-angenommen_en.html

http://news.discovery.com/earth/plants/flowers-may-have-existed-when-dinos-were-born-131001.htm