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Fossil Record A palaeontological open-access journal of the Museum für Naturkunde

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Foss. Rec., 7, 155-174, 2004
© Author(s) 2004. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
01 Jan 2004
Gymnosperms from the Lower Cretaceous Crato Formation (Brazil). I. Araucariaceae and Lindleycladus (incertae sedis)
L. Kunzmann1, B. A. R. Mohr2, and M. E. C. Bernardes-de-Oliveira3 1Museum of Mineralogy and Geology of the State Collections of Natural History Dresden, Königsbrücker Landstr. 159, 01109 Dresden, Germany
2Museum of Natural History of the Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Paleontology, Invalidenstrasse 43, 10115 Berlin, Germany
3Institute of Geosciences, University of São Paulo, Cidade Universitária, Rua do Lago 562, São Paulo, CEP 05508-080, Brazil and Laboratory of Geosciences of the University of Guarulhos, Brazil
Abstract. Fossil conifers from the Early Cretaceous, most likely late Aptian, Crato Formation were studied. The excellent preservation of several of those fossils allowed detailed investigations of the leaf epidermis by light microscope (LM) and by scanning electron microscope (SEM). Members of two conifer taxa were recognized: The Araucariaceae are represented by a female cone of cf. Araucaria spec. A juvenile cone (Araucariostrobus spec.) and sterile foliage shoots of Brachyphyllum obesum might be attributed to the Araucariaceae as well. The morpho-genus Lindleycladus (incertae sedis) is represented by foliage shoots. The occurrence of Lindleycladus is the first record of this extinct morpho-genus in the Southern Hemisphere. Anatomical features of these conifers are interpreted as adaptations to a warm seasonally dry climate. Taphonomic problems concerning these conifer remains are discussed.

Fossile Koniferen aus der unterkretazischen, höchstwahrscheinlich oberaptischen Crato Formation wurden untersucht. Die ausgezeichnete Erhaltung einiger Exemplare gestattete die Analyse von Blattepidermen mittels Licht- und Rasterelektronen-mikroskop. Vertreter zweier Koniferentaxa wurden nachgewiesen: Araucariaceae kommen mit einem weiblichen Zapfen von cf. Araucaria spec. vor. Ein juveniler Zapfen (Araucariostrobus spec.) und sterile Zweige mit der Beblätterung der Morpho-Species Brachyphyllum obesum werden unter Vorbehalt ebenfalls zu den Araucariaceae gestellt. Vegetative Organe der Morpho-Gattung Lindleycladus (incertae sedis) sind ebenfalls erhalten. Das Vorkommen von Lindleycladus ist ein erster Nachweis dieser fossilen Morpho-Gattung in der Südhemisphäre. Anatomische Merkmale dieser Koniferen werden als Anpassungen an ein warmes, saisonal trockenes Klima gedeutet. Im Zusammenhang mit den Koniferenresten werden taphonomische Probleme diskutiert.


Citation: Kunzmann, L., Mohr, B. A. R., and Bernardes-de-Oliveira, M. E. C.: Gymnosperms from the Lower Cretaceous Crato Formation (Brazil). I. Araucariaceae and Lindleycladus (incertae sedis), Foss. Rec., 7, 155-174, doi:10.1002/mmng.20040070109, 2004.
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