HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Ancient flower fossil points to underwater origins

The world's oldest known flower never bloomed, but it has opened scientific questions into whether all of modern flowering plants share underwater origins.

The newly discovered remains of the oldest, most complete flowering plant show it lived at least 125 million years ago, most likely underwater, said University of Florida (UF) paleobotanist David Dilcher. The discovery is reported in Friday's issue of the journal Science and was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

"This Lower Cretaceous fossil challenges many assumptions about the origins of flowering plants," said Quentin Wheeler, director of NSFs division of environmental biology, which funded the research. "Such fossil discoveries combine with advances in the analysis of molecular and morphological evidence from living plants to provide a classification that is the conceptual framework for evolutionary biology."

Although it had no petals, there is no question it was a flowering plant because of the presence of seeds enclosed in an immature fruit, a trait separating flowering plants from all other seed plants, he said.

The discovery is important because it provides clues about how these now-extinct ancestors evolved into modern living flowering plants, said Dilcher.

"Flowering plants are the dominant vegetation in the world today," he said. "They're the basic food crop and fiber source for the world's population.

It's useful for us to understand the relationships among flowering plants, especially in this day of molecular genetic manipulations.

"When you sit down in the morning and have a bowl of Wheaties or cornflakes, that's a flowering plant," he said. "When you eat a beef steak, that's from an animal that ate flowering plants. So, when we study this fossil, we're looking at the ancestry of what sustains us in the world today."

The plant was about 20 inches high with thin stems stretching up in the water to th
'"/>

Contact: Cheryl Dybas
cdybas@nsf.gov
703-292-8070
National Science Foundation
2-May-2002


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Ancient life form may help create newest technologies
2. Ancient brewery discovered on mountaintop in Peru
3. Ancient Greeks help scientists build environmentally friendly nano devices
4. Ancient DNA mutations permitted humans to adapt to colder climates, UCI researchers find
5. Ancient Inca road in desperate need of protection
6. Ancient DNA analysis unveils mystery of historys most horribly deformed man -- The Elephant Man
7. Ancient pollen yields insight into forest biodiversity
8. Ancient defense mechanism may still be protecting us
9. Ancient supernova may have triggered eco-catastrophe
10. Ancient Chinese folk remedy may hold key to non-toxic cancer treatment
11. Ancient reptile is efficient chewer

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/1/2016)... 2016  Wocket® smart wallet ( www.wocketwallet.com ) announces the launch of ... Fatone . Las Vegas , where Joey appeared ... Las Vegas , where Joey appeared at the Wocket ... video ad was filmed at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES2016) in ... to meet and greet fans. --> ...
(Date:1/25/2016)... Pa. , Jan. 25, 2016   Unisys Corporation ... system at John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport, New ... Protection (CBP) identify imposters attempting to enter the ... not belong to them. pilot testing of the ... initially at three terminals at JFK during January 2016. --> ...
(Date:1/22/2016)... 2016 http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/p74whf/global_biometrics ... "Global Biometrics Market in Retail Sector ... --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/p74whf/global_biometrics ) has announced ... Market in Retail Sector 2016-2020" report ... Research and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/p74whf/global_biometrics ) has ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... Bulk food product ... foods at various stages of the production process. Despite frequently inspecting loose product ... products post packaging such as sacks of dry powders. , Mettler-Toledo Product Inspection's ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... SHELTON, Conn. , Feb. 8, 2016  NanoViricides, Inc. (NYSE ... that its CEO, Eugene Seymour , MD, MPH, will present ... 5:30PM at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City ... presentation will be in the Windsor Room at 5:30PM EST. Registered ... New York City . --> ...
(Date:2/8/2016)...  Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO) announced today that its new website has gone live. On ... and mobile-friendly. Visit the new site: www.diplomat.is ... ... ... "The goal was to reimagine the website and ...
(Date:2/6/2016)... ... February 06, 2016 , ... The Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) ... school teachers on Wednesday February 10, 2016. This Bite of Science session, hosted ... Conservation, located at 1500 Remount Road in Front Royal, VA from 5:00 p.m. to ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: