Saturday, August 10, 2019

[PaleoBotany • 2019] Cratolirion bognerianum • Fossil Evidence of Core Monocots in the Early Cretaceous

Cratolirion bognerianum Coifard, Kardjilov & Bernardes-deOliveira

in Coiffard, Kardjilov, Manke & Bernardes-de-Oliveira, 2019. 

All the major clades of angiosperms have a fossil record that extends back to more than 100 million years ago (Early Cretaceous), mostly in agreement with molecular dating. However, the Early Cretaceous record of monocots is very poor compared to other angiosperms. Their herbaceous nature has been invoked to explain this rarity, but biogeography could also be an explanation. Unfortunately, most of the Early Cretaceous angiosperm record comes from northern mid-latitudes. The Crato plattenkalk limestone offers a unique window into the Early Cretaceous vegetation of the tropics and has already yielded monocot fossils. Here, we describe a whole monocotyledonous plant from root to reproductive organs that is anatomically preserved. The good preservation of the fossils allowed the evaluation of reproductive, vegetative and anatomical characteristics of monocots, leading to a robust identification of this fossil as a crown monocot. Its occurrence in Northern Gondwana supports the possibility of an early radiation of monocots in the tropics.

Holotype and paratype of Cratolirion bognerianum gen. et sp. nov. a, Holotype MB.Pb. 1997/1233 showing two inflorescences (a1 and a2) and one elongate scape (b). b, Paratype MB.Pb. 2002/854 showing two leaf rosettes (a1 and a2) and the root system (b). Scale in cm.

Cratolirion bognerianum gen. et sp. nov.
Computerized tomography scan reconstruction of the inflorescence.
Colours indicate the inflorescence axes (teal), the bracts (dark green), remains of perianth (orange) and gynoecia (light green).

Core monocot (Petrosaviidae, Cantino et al., 2007)

incertae sedis

Cratolirion Coifard, Kardjilov et Bernardes-de-Oliveira.

Cratolirion bognerianum Coifard, Kardjilov et Bernardes-deOliveira.

Etymology. From Crato, the locality and λείριονleírionLily. The lily of Crato. 

 Cratolirion bogneriana sp. nov. 

Etymology. In honour of Josef Bogner, a German botanist, for his contribution in living and fossil aroid systematics and interests in fossil monocots.

Holotype of Cratolirion bognerianum gen. et sp. nov.

Clément Coiffard, Nikolay Kardjilov, Ingo Manke and Mary E. C. Bernardes-de-Oliveira. 2019. Fossil Evidence of Core Monocots in the Early Cretaceous. Nature Plants. 5; 691–696. DOI: 10.1038/s41477-019-0468-y
Oldest completely preserved lily discovered in Brazil via @physorg_com