Plants of the Early Devonian epoch (419-323 million years ago) are crucial to reconstructing the initial radiation of tracheophytes, yet few are understood as whole organisms. Unearthing the habits of Sengelia radicans, Matsunaga and Tomescu integrate morphometric data from hundreds of fossil specimens from the Beartooth Butte Formation (Wyoming, USA) with taphonomic and sedimentological observations at the fossil outcrop.
Providing a rare window into the morphology, life history (adapted for survival after floods) and growth environment of an early vascular plant, this study adds to the diversity of body plans documented among lycophytes and may help with elucidating patterns of morphological evolution in the clade.
Matsunaga, K. K. S., & Tomescu, A. M. F. (2017). An organismal concept for Sengelia radicans gen. et sp. nov. – morphology and natural history of an Early Devonian lycophyte. Annals of Botany, 119(7), 1097–1113. https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcw277
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