What is the oldest fossil flowering plant?

Researchers from Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NIGPAS), have uncovered the earliest example of a flower bud in a 164 million-year-old plant fossil in China.

The fossil is 1.7 inches long and 0.8 inches wide. It contains a stem, a leafy branch, a bulbous fruit and a tiny flower bud around 3 sq mm in size. The researchers have named the new species Florigerminis jurassica.

There are two main types of plants: flowering plants (angiosperms) and non-flowering plants (gymnosperms). The flower bud and fruit in the fossil are clear indicators that F. jurassica was an angiosperm, the dominant plant type during the Jurassic period. Until now, fossil evidence showed that angiosperms did not arise until the Cretaceous period, between 66 million and 145 million years ago. The discovery firmly pushes back the emergence of flowering plants into the Jurassic period, between 145 million and 201 million years ago.

Picture Credit : Google 

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