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(searched for: doi:10.17352/ojps.000039)
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Published: 11 July 2022
by MDPI
Journal: Biology
Abstract:
Background: The origin and early evolution of angiosperms, by far the most important plant group for human beings, are questions demanding answers, mainly due to a lack of related fossils. The Yixian Formation (Lower Cretaceous) is famous for its fossils of early angiosperms, and several Early Cretaceous angiosperms with apocarpous gynoecia have been documented. However, a hypanthium and an inferior ovary are lacking in these fossil angiosperms. Methods: The specimen was collected from the outcrop of the Yixian Formation in Dawangzhangzi in the suburb of Lingyuan, Liaoning, China. The specimen was photographed using a Nikon D200 digital camera, and its details were photographed using a Nikon SMZ1500 stereomicroscope and a MAIA3 TESCAN SEM. Results: A fossil angiosperm, Lingyuananthus inexpectus gen. et sp. nov, is reported from the Lower Cretaceous of China. Differing from those documented previously, Lingyuananthus has a hypanthium, an inferior ovary, and ovules inside its ovary. Such a character assemblage indicates its angiospermous affinity, although not expected by any existing leading angiosperm evolutionary theory. Conclusions: New fossil material with a unique character assemblage falls beyond the expectation of the currently widely accepted theories of angiosperm evolution. Together with independently documented fossils of early angiosperms, Lingyuananthus suggests that at least some early angiosperms’ flowers can be derived in a way that has been ignored previously.
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