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Abstract Detail



Macroevolution

Wang, Xin [1].

Are there angiosperms in the Jurassic?

It is widely believed that there were no angiosperms until the Cretaceous. This belief was formally established in 1960 by Scott et al., and has been reiterated many times until the last time in 2017. It appears as if such a belief has been consistently held ever since 1960. However, a rarely asked question about this belief is what is the evidence or logics behind this conclusion? How can one be sure that there were no angiosperms in the Jurassic before they exhaustively study all the strata of the Jurassic or earlier age? If nature followed human logic, this belief would appear sound when the data of the Early Cretaceous of eastern North America available only in 1970s were taken into consideration. However, as new data are augmented the formerly logical smooth increasing curve and gradual diversification pattern of angiosperms in the Early Cretaceous vaporizes, casting serious doubt over this widely accepted statement. However, the questions are 1) Does nature follow our logic? 2) If the assumed pattern disappears, is the inference supported by such pattern still viable? The loss of both of these conditions makes the belief shaky. The prospect for this belief becomes unpromising when fossil evidence found recently is taken into consideration. Recently, there are increasing challenge against such a belief. First, there are more and more BEAST analyses based on new fossil discovery (of Poaceae, Prasad et al., 2011; of Solanaceae, Wilf et al., 2017) suggesting an earlier origin for angiosperms. Second, new discoveries of fossil plants reveal how less we know about the real history of fossil angiosperms and gymnosperms. Epsecially, the discovery of a typical flower (Euanthus panii, Liu and Wang, 2016) and a whole plant herb (Juraherba bodae, Han et al., 2016) bearing fructifications from the Middle-Late Jurassic underscore the existence of unequivocal angiosperms in the Jurassic. These fossils make the “No Angiosperms Until the Cretaceous” claim a false statement or a joke that makes no one laugh. Third, some Triassic pollen grains that may have been ignored formerly are hard to distinguish from those of angiosperms in all aspects except age. It seems decent to take the Jurassic angiosperms more serious, although they are disliked by the pious believers of the above belief.


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Related Links:
Euanthus panii
Juraherba bodae


1 - Nanjing Institute Of Geology And Palaeontology, 39 Beijing Dong Road, Nanjing, N/A, 210008, China

Keywords:
angiosperms
flowers
Jurassic
origin
evolution.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: 3003
Abstract ID:226
Candidate for Awards:None


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