Field of Science

Friday fabulous flower - how old?

Flowers are not the type of thing that fossilize very easily, so no big surprise that there are so few to help figure out the "sudden" appearance of flowering plants in the fossil record.   So here is a reconstruction of a pre-Cretaceous (Jurassic) fossil flower.  TPP isn't particular impressed as there are some items that just don't quite make sense.  But we shall see what the important people have to say about this flower.  The biggest problem is that crazy branched thing that is being labelled the stigma; it's like nothing else any where.  And then there is one little item (little knobby thing at about 11 o'clock) that hasn't been identified at all.  For those of you who do not keep up with the plant fossil record, there are no well authenticated pre-Cretaceous flowering plant fossils at all.  This fossil would be a first, and it's supposedly a flower.  Well, see what you think.  It's name is Nanjinanthus, which tells us where in China this fossil was found.

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