Amber preserves flowers from 99 million years ago

2022-05-09 0 By

Scientists found the flowers in South Africa and claim they are very similar to what we know today.Scientists have discovered 99 million-year-old flowers preserved in amber blocks.Prehistoric flowers have been found in South Africa with the same characteristics as plants in fire-prone areas.They were found in an area now known as Burma and could help scientists discover how flowers evolved.Because they’re part of a plant that blooms, bears fruit and then disappears, it’s hard to find a good fossil record of flowers.Robert Spicer, a professor in the School of Environmental, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences at the University of Alberta in the UK, said the discovery was crucial.In particular, these flowers are almost identical to their modern relatives.There really isn’t much difference.The study, published in the respected journal Nature, was named Eophylica priscatellata and Phylica Pilobumensis.Flowers of the genus Phylica are very common in South Africa.The researchers claim that the evolution and spread of flowering plants played a crucial role in the formation and diversification of life.Insects, amphibians, mammals and birds can evolve and develop unique features based on the spread of fruit and flower seeds.Researcher Spicer commented that it’s not clear when flowering plants appeared, but the discovery could help clear up such doubts.These specimens have the same characteristics as those observed in flowers in fire-prone areas, such as the fynbos (thin-leafed plants) biome typical of South Africa.The flowers were found near another amber fossil that contained partially burned plants.Phylica pilobumensis is the first flowering plant known to have a nearly identical relative that is still alive today.According to the researchers, if the first flowers were exposed to fires in semi-arid regions, this explains the absence of the fossil record of the early stages of angiosperms’ evolution, which could help determine when angiosperms appeared on Earth.Here we have preserved in amber all the details of one of these early flowers, just as flowering plants began to spread around the world, and have shown a good adaptation to seasonally dry conditions that sustain vegetation exposed to frequent forest fires.