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Re: Indeed: How old are the aroids?

  • Subject: Re: Indeed: How old are the aroids?
  • From: "Peter Boyce" <botanist@malesiana.com>
  • Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2008 07:02:39 +0800

Hi Julius, Leland, Ted & friends

The Pistia-like thing was Cobbania corrugata, indeed a pistia-like aroid 
from the lower Cretaceous (subfamily Cobbanoideae). There is another 
intriguing plant, Limnobiophyllum scutatum (Limnobiophylloideae) also from 
the Cretaceous. What is NOT known about eiher of these is these genera have 
bisexual flowers (as in Lemnoideae) or unisexual flowers as in Aroideae 
including Pistia.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: <ju-bo@msn.com>
To: <botanist@malesiana.com>
Cc: "Leyland Miyano" <lbmkjm@yahoo.com>
Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 6:13 PM
Subject: FW: [Aroid-l] Indeed: How old are the aroids?

Dear Friends,

Pete and Sin Yeng,

I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on the age and origins of aroids! 
Thanks ever so much for sharing this information with all of us!!

Ted and Leyland--I know that there have been publications on fossil aroids, 
one on a Pista-like plant which I saw the actual drawings and photos of 
(leaves, roots, stolons and everything!!), as Josef Bogner was sort of 
''correcting'' them for the lady author when we were up at MOBOT for that 
aroid conference, Pete was there.   Also, I contributed the seeds of several 
genera of Lasioids to her at a later date, and she used photos of them, 
comparing them to fossils in her paper on fossil aroid seeds.   There is 
mention of the then-known fossil aroids in TGOA, and I believe strides have 
been made since then in identifying additional material.   I know that Josef 
Bogner was and may still be deeply interested in investigations along these 
lines, I GUESS a good google search may turn up additional info. on these 
most interesting fossil anceators of the plants we so love!

The Best,


>> 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.

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