David Leonard Dilcher

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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)
An increase in the atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO(2)) concentration results in a decrease in the number of leaf stomata. This relation is known both from historical observations of vegetation over the past 200 years and from experimental manipulations of microenvironments. Evidence from stomatal frequencies of fossil Quercus petraea leaves indicates that(More)
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)
Detailed investigations on Lower Cretaceous Ephedra L. fossils (Gnetopsida) reveal morphological characters similar to those of extant Ephedra rhytidosperma Pachomova, including articulate branches with many fine longitudinal striations, a dichasial branching pattern, uni- or bi-ovulate cones with paired bracts, cones terminal on branchlets, and seeds with(More)
BACKGROUND Rosids are a major clade in the angiosperms containing 13 orders and about one-third of angiosperm species. Recent molecular analyses recognized two major groups (i.e., fabids with seven orders and malvids with three orders). However, phylogenetic relationships within the two groups and among fabids, malvids, and potentially basal rosids(More)
The current molecular systematics of angiosperms recognizes the basal angiosperms and five major angiosperm lineages: the Chloranthaceae, the magnoliids, the monocots, Ceratophyllum and the eudicots, which consist of the basal eudicots and the core eudicots. The eudicots form the majority of the angiosperms in the world today. The flowering plants are of(More)
PREMISE OF RESEARCH A large number of fossil coryphoid palm wood and fruits have been reported from the Deccan Intertrappean beds of India. We document the oldest well-preserved and very rare costapalmate palm leaves and inflorescence like structures from the same horizon. METHODOLOGY A number of specimens were collected from Maastrichtian-Danian(More)
Fossil flowers discovered in 94-million-year-old clays of the Dakota Formation in Nebraska are among the earliest known demonstrably bisexual flowers. The flowers are of medium size and have pentamerous whorls of clearly differentiated floral parts, petals alternate with the sepals, short stamens are borne opposite the petals, the carpels are fused, and a(More)
Mid-Mesozoic kalligrammatid lacewings (Neuroptera) entered the fossil record 165 million years ago (Ma) and disappeared 45 Ma later. Extant papilionoid butterflies (Lepidoptera) probably originated 80-70 Ma, long after kalligrammatids became extinct. Although poor preservation of kalligrammatid fossils previously prevented their detailed morphological and(More)
Clathropteris was a typical dipterid fern with well documented fossil record and was widely dispersed during the Mesozoic; however, our knowledge of fertile structures including in situ spores for this genus is still very limited. Here we report well-preserved compression specimens of Clathropteris obovata Oishi from the Late Triassic of Guangyuan, Sichuan(More)