Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 8:15 AM
ADVANCED ANGIOSPERM-LIKE FRUITS FROM THE EARLY CRETACEOUS WEST GREENLAND
Isolated, angiospermous-like seed pods from the Early Cretaceous beds (mid to late Albian) of West Greenland have a mix of ancestral and modern angiosperm features. Advanced features include a fruit size at least twice as large as in any other reported for the Albian, paracytic stomata, and fruiting body type. Similar but smaller legume-like fruiting bodies of Archaefructaceae were reported from the Late Jurassic of China but the Greenland material differs in that the seeds project outside of the covering provided by the pods. The cuticle resembles that found in the Bennettitalean form genus Cycadolepis from the same beds and modern basal angiosperms (ANITA). As well, the Greenland material appears to represent a species ecologically more advanced than early angiosperms because it contains few, large seeds in each pod. This differs from the pioneer-like species evident in other pre-Cenomanian angiosperm seeds at this time, which are wind and water dispersed and numerous per fruit. The combination of traits is evolutionarily beyond that for the angiosperms known by this time and suggests that the taxon may be part of an unknown lineage intermediate between the gymnosperms and angiosperms.