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Aquatic plant may be oldest known flower

Published on : August 24, 2015

Publication in PNAS

première plante à fleur aquatique d’eau douce - publi LGL.jpg
An international research team (1) led by a researcher from the Lyon Laboratory of Geology - Earth, Planets, Environment (CNRS, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Ecole normale supérieure de Lyon) recently demonstrated that a fossil found in the Spanish Pyrenees and that has been studied for more than 100 years may well be the world's oldest known aquatic flowering plant. 

The plant, Montsechia vidalii, had no petals and lived in freshwater lakes some 130 million years ago, during the early Cretaceous period, when dinosaurs such as the brachiosaurus and iguanodon walked the Earth.

The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest that aquatic habitats may have played a major role in the early evolution and diversification of flowering plants.

An ancient aquatic angiosperm, B.Gomez et al. PNAS 2015 
An ancient aquatic angiosperm, B.Gomez et al. PNAS 2015  An ancient aquatic angiosperm, B.Gomez et al PNAS 2015 - 2

Montsechia, an ancient aquatic angiosperm Bernard Gomez, Bernard Gomez, Véronique Daviero-Gomez, Clément Coiffard, Carles Martín-Closas, and David L. Dilcher, PNAS DOI10.1073/pnas.1509241112

(1) Bernard Gomez and Véronique Daviero-Gomez (Université Lyon 1, France), Clément Coiffard (Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin, Germany), Carles Martín-Closas (University of Barcelona, Spain) and David L. Dilcher (Indiana University).

Bernard Gomez, Lyon Geology laboratory: Earth, planets and environnement, (+33 4 72 44 58 01 / +33 4 72 44 58 01)

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