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Aquatic flowering plant from ancient times

By analyzing more than 1,000 fossil remains, scientists have discovered that an unassuming, 130-million-year-old water-dwelling plant could be one of Earth’s first flowering plants.

Analysis of morphology, anatomy, and reproductive structures in hundreds of fossilized specimens of the aquatic flowering plant Montsechia vidalii, previously unearthed from approximately 130 million-year-old freshwater limestone deposits in the Spanish Pyrenees, suggests that the plant may have lived and reproduced below the water surface, that aquatic plants may have been commonplace early in the evolution of flowering plants, and that aquatic habitats may have enabled the diversification of flowering plants.


©An ancient aquatic angiosperm, B.Gomez et al. PNAS 2015 - Fossile et vue macroscopique.

Montsechia, an ancient aquatic angiosperm, by Bernard Gomez, Véronique Daviero-Gomez, Clément Coiffard, Carles Martín-Closas, and David L. Dilcher
www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1509241112

Contact :
Bernard Gomez (Laboratoire de Géologie de Lyon : Terre, Planètes et Environnement - LGLTPE)
Published on the August 24, 2015 Updated on the September 10, 2015