Monday, February 04, 2019

ancient plants

The list of science-y things I have never covered is shrinking. Still haven't done anything specifically about dinosaurs, but I've now done my first feature on palaeobotany, and I found that really exciting, so may be doing more of the ancient ferns and conifers at some point (I also have a soft spot for the evolutionary history of the ginkgo tree, which I once discussed in a book review).

The story is mostly about late Permian plant fossils found in Jordan, and the wider idea behind it is the question whether the tropics serve as a source of biodiversity for the global biosphere, i.e. as a "cradle" of evolution.

Read all about it:

Finding the cradles of evolution

Current Biology Volume 29, issue 3, pages R71-R73, February 04, 2019

Restricted access to full text and PDF download
(will become open access one year after publication)

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An almost complete frond of the corystosperm Dicroidum irnense found at the Umm Irna Formation in Jordan and dated to the late Permian. These seed plants were widespread in the Triassic, but became extinct in the Jurassic. (Photo: © Patrick Blomenkemper.)

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