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Many efforts to date evolutionary divergences by using a molecular clock have yielded age estimates that are grossly inconsistent with the paleontological evidence. Such discrepancies often are attributed to the inadequacy of the fossil record, but many potential sources of error can affect molecular-based estimates. In this study, we minimize the potential(More)
Phylogenetic analyses have identified the water lilies (Nymphaeales: Cabombaceae and Nymphaeaceae), together with four other small groups of flowering plants (the 'ANITA clades': Amborellaceae, Illiciales, Trimeniaceae, Austrobaileyaceae), as the first diverging lineages from the main branch of the angiosperm phylogenetic tree, but evidence of these groups(More)
The Siluro-Devonian primary radiation of land biotas is the terrestrial equivalent of the much-debated Cambrian "explosion" of marine faunas. Both show the hallmarks of novelty radiations (phenotypic diversity increases much more rapidly than species diversity across an ecologically undersaturated and thus low-competition landscape), and both ended with the(More)
Fundamental differences in the distribution of oceans and landmasses in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres potentially impact patterns of biological diversity in the two areas. The evolutionary history of conifers provides an opportunity to explore these dynamics, because the majority of extant conifer species belong to lineages that have been broadly(More)
Paleobotanical studies indicate that several isolated and systematically depauperate groups of extant woody dicotyledons originated in the Mid Cretaceous. TheChloranthaceae had probably differentiated into insect-pollinated (Chloranthus andSarcandra) and wind-pollinated (Ascarina andHedyosmum) forms by the end of the Albian, and leaves referable to(More)
Recent palaeobotanical studies have greatly increased the quantity and quality of information available about the structure and relationships of Cretaceous angiosperms. Discoveries of extremely well preserved Cretaceous flowers have been especially informative and, combined with results from phylogenetic analyses of extant angiosperms (based mainly on(More)
A new species provisionally assigned to the extant genus Regnellidium Lindm. (Regnellidium upatoiensis sp. nov.) is established for isolated sporocarps assignable to the heterosporous water fern family Marsileaceae. Three sporocarps and hundreds of dispersed megaspores were recovered from unconsolidated clays and silts of the Eutaw Formation (Santonian,(More)
Over the past 25 years the discovery and study of Cretaceous plant mesofossils has yielded diverse and exquisitely preserved fossil flowers that have revolutionized our knowledge of early angiosperms, but remains of other seed plants in the same mesofossil assemblages have so far received little attention. These fossils, typically only a few millimetres(More)
The latitudinally diachronous appearance of angiosperm pollen during the Cretaceous is well documented, but the subsequent diversification and accompanying significant changes in floristic dominance have not been assessed quantitatively for a wide range of paleolatitudes. Trend surfaces fitted to within-palynoflora diversity data from 1125 pollen and spore(More)