Museomic approaches are employed in order to establish an evolutionary, palaeoecological, and biogeographic context for radially symmetrical, five-winged fossil fruits from the highly diverse early Eocene Laguna del Hunco flora of Chubut Province. Gandolfo and Hermsen draw comparisons with other fossil and modern fruits and describe the new species Ceratopetalum edgardo-romeroi (Cunoniaceae).
In addition to sharing several characteristics, such as symmetry, number of fruit wings and presence of a conspicuous floral nectary, which unequivocally place this new fossil species within the genus Ceratopetalum, the venation pattern of the minor fruit wings (sepals) is unique within the genus and diagnostically heralds the new species. C. edgardo-romeroi is the oldest known and only record of Ceratopetalum outside Australasia, and the discovery of this species further documents the biogeographic connection between Patagonia and Australasia.
Gandolfo, M. A., & Hermsen, E. J. (2017). Ceratopetalum (Cunoniaceae) fruits of Australasian affinity from the early Eocene Laguna del Hunco flora, Patagonia, Argentina. Annals of Botany, mcw283. https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcw283