Before now, angiosperms (flowering plants) were thought to have a history of no more than 130 million years. The discovery of the novel flower species, which the study authors named Nanjinganthus dendrostyla, throws widely accepted theories of plant evolution into question, by suggesting that they existed around 50 million years earlier. Nanjinganthus also has a variety of ‘unexpected’ characteristics according to almost all of these theories.
“Researchers were not certain where and how flowers came into existence because it seems that many flowers just popped up in the Cretaceous from nowhere,” explains lead author Qiang Fu, Associate Research Professor at the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology, China. “Studying fossil flowers, especially those from earlier geologic periods, is the only reliable way to get an answer to these questions.” Paper. (open access) – Qiang Fu, Jose Bienvenido Diez, Mike Pole, Manuel García Ávila, Zhong-Jian Liu, Hang Chu, Yemao Hou, Pengfei Yin, Guo-Qiang Zhang, Kaihe Du, Xin Wang. An unexpected noncarpellate epigynous flower from the Jurassic of China. eLife, 2018; 7 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.38827 More.
“Researchers were not certain where and how flowers came into existence because it seems that many flowers just popped up in the Cretaceous from nowhere,” explains lead author Qiang Fu” It now looks as though they just popped into the Jurassic from nowhere.
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See also: Feathers originated 70 million years earlier than thought It certainly is “amazing,” as Professor Benton says, that a complex array of features appeared 250 million years ago, rather abruptly, just as life was recovering from the Permian extinction. Would anyone have predicted that? Talk about “fossil rabbits in the Cambrian.”
Stasis: Life goes on but evolution does not happen