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Re: Indeed: How old are the aroids?

  • Subject: Re: Indeed: How old are the aroids?
  • From: Adam Black <epiphyte1@earthlink.net>
  • Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2008 12:35:23 -0400 (EDT)

Leland and all interested,

Aside from a lagerstatten site, don't forget about paleopalynological research analyzing fossil pollen, which as understand it would be more reliably preserved than other plant tissues. Well preserved leaves and other parts would of course be more intereting to visualize, but fossil pollen would be more likely to indicate the presence of aroids in paleoenvironments not conducive the preservation of leaves and other parts. 

See the following, an interesting paper on pollen of an early Cretaceous Aroid from Portugal


Also here is an abstract of a late Cretaceous Aroid infructescense (J. Bogner one of the authors)


Also of interest, an Eocene Philodendron sect Meconostigma from western Tennessee: 


...and another paper on fossil Araceae pollen: 


These all jumped out at me on a quick Google search - but there is probably more info out there. I'm interested in fossil vertebrates of the Tertiary and Pleistocene and in research have noticed fairly regulary references to Tertiary aged Aroids, especially in the Eocene floras, but never looked earlier than that until now. 

Adam Black

-----Original Message-----
>From: brian lee <lbmkjm@yahoo.com>
>Sent: Jul 30, 2008 4:39 PM
>To: Discussion of aroids <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
>Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] Indeed: How old are the aroids?
>Dear Ted, Sin Yeng, and Pete, etc.,
>Sounds like we need to find an Early Cretaceous or older, aroid lagerstatten. Lagerstatten are fossil sites of exceptional preservation or completeness. China is discovering quite a few new sites... Perhaps someone  needs to be looking at new Jurassic floras.
>--- On Tue, 7/29/08, ted.held@us.henkel.com <ted.held@us.henkel.com> wrote:
>> From: ted.held@us.henkel.com <ted.held@us.henkel.com>
>> Subject: [Aroid-l] Indeed: How old are the aroids?
>> To: "Discussion of aroids" <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
>> Date: Tuesday, July 29, 2008, 6:34 AM
>> Peter and Sin Yeng,
>> Not only are your comments food for thought, they are
>> astonishing. You are 
>> hinting that aroids are as old as any flowering plants, and
>> you also 
>> believe that they are at least as old as the earliest
>> surviving angiosperm 
>> fossils.
>> Of course, we all know that if you want to be a fossil it
>> helps to have 
>> hard, durable parts that can be preserved long enough to be
>> covered in 
>> sediment and whatnot. I know from my own plants that
>> preservation of 
>> deceased material in warm, humid environments for more than
>> even a couple 
>> of hours is problematic. This means that the existential
>> history of many 
>> aroids and other life forms can have proceeded along for
>> eons under the 
>> fossil radar. Is this a way of teasing out some of the
>> secret history of 
>> the living world?
>> I am intrigued by your methodology. This thread also meshes
>> with our other 
>> recent discussion of the threatened-species nature of
>> taxonomists, since 
>> you seem to rely on inferences based on traditional
>> taxonomy. Maybe if 
>> young potential botanists think that there's more to it
>> than pressing and 
>> cataloging dry old plant parts they would more readily sign
>> up. Also, 
>> funding is nine parts show biz, so conjectures like this
>> might stir up a 
>> few bucks for deserving researchers.
>> Please keep me (us) updated on your thinking.
>> Ted._______________________________________________
>> Aroid-L mailing list
>> Aroid-L@www.gizmoworks.com
>> http://www.gizmoworks.com/mailman/listinfo/aroid-l
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