David Leonard Dilcher

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Archaefructaceae is proposed as a new basal angiosperm family of herbaceous aquatic plants. This family consists of the fossils Archaefructus liaoningensis and A. sinensis sp. nov. Complete plants from roots to fertile shoots are known. Their age is a minimum of 124.6 million years from the Yixian Formation, Liaoning, China. They are a sister clade to all(More)
It is widely acknowledged that integrating fossils into data sets of extant taxa is imperative for proper placement of fossils, resolution of relationships, and a better understanding of character evolution. The importance of this process has been further magnified because of the crucial role of fossils in dating divergence times. Outstanding issues remain,(More)
Continental climate evolution of Central Europe has been reconstructed quantitatively for the last 45 million years providing inferred data on mean annual temperature and precipitation, and winter and summer temperatures. Although some regional effects occur, the European Cenozoic continental climate record correlates well with the global oxygen isotope(More)
The sizes and shapes (physiognomy) of fossil leaves are widely applied as proxies for paleoclimatic and paleoecological variables. However, significant improvements to leaf-margin analysis, used for nearly a century to reconstruct mean annual temperature (MAT), have been elusive; also, relationships between physiognomy and many leaf ecological variables(More)
The Miocene is characterized by a series of key climatic events that led to the founding of the late Cenozoic icehouse mode and the dawn of modern biota. The processes that caused these developments, and particularly the role of atmospheric CO2 as a forcing factor, are poorly understood. Here we present a CO2 record based on stomatal frequency data from(More)
From well preserved leaf damage of the mid-Cretaceous Dakota Flora (97 million years ago), three distinctive, insect-mediated feeding traces have been identified and assigned to two extant genera and one subfamily. These taxa are the leaf miners Stigmella and Ectoedemia of the Nepticulidae and Phyllocnistinae of the Gracillariidae. These fossils indicate(More)
The head and mouthpart structures of 11 species of Eurasian scorpionflies represent three extinct and closely related families during a 62-million-year interval from the late Middle Jurassic to the late Early Cretaceous. These taxa had elongate, siphonate (tubular) proboscides and fed on ovular secretions of extinct gymnosperms. Five potential ovulate(More)
A principle response of C3 plants to increasing concentrations of atmospheric CO(2) (CO(2)) is to reduce transpirational water loss by decreasing stomatal conductance (g(s)) and simultaneously increase assimilation rates. Via this adaptation, vegetation has the ability to alter hydrology and climate. Therefore, it is important to determine the adaptation of(More)
  • D Dilcher
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences…
  • 2000
Angiosperm paleobotany has widened its horizons, incorporated new techniques, developed new databases, and accepted new questions that can now focus on the evolution of the group. The fossil record of early flowering plants is now playing an active role in addressing questions of angiosperm phylogeny, angiosperm origins, and angiosperm radiations. Three(More)
During the past 125 years the history of early angiosperms, interpreted through the fossil leaf record has been largely an exercise in paleofloristic studies, ignoring evolution. Imprecise identifications of ancient leaves “matched” to extant genera and families have been used as the basis for reconstructions of paleocommunities and paleoclimates. However,(More)