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osnapitsjoey t1_j7lzg8b wrote

I read the article and it still isn't clear to me. This is a precursor to those plants mentioned in your title? It's not like Utah raptors were making ketchup and smoking tabacco


Cleistheknees t1_j7m7qfy wrote

The surprise isn’t that an ancestor of those living plants was alive at that time, as that would be basically tautological: every living thing has at least one ancestor alive for every single moment in time, all the way back to the very origin of life on this planet.

The surprise is the morphology of this plant being dated so far back. Flowering plants as a whole (ie as a monophyletic group going back to a singular, morphologically similar ancestor) were thought to have arisen long after this, and a specimen being dated c 80mya with complex flowers means the onramp of development of this anatomy goes back much further.

This will certainly result in some cladistic musical chairs if the dating is accurate, and a bunch of botany students will have yet another outdated section in their textbooks. Some of us in evo joke that every time a plant is tossed somewhere else on the phylogenetic tree, somewhere a botanist takes a shot of tequila and cries.

Source: not a botanist but I do fight them over parking spots


osnapitsjoey t1_j7mer16 wrote

Hahahahahaha that's hilarious.

Thank you for the info.


zehvthestranger t1_j7mryjn wrote

You don’t become a botanist if you love yourself, but only if you can embrace chaos and uncertainty.


osnapitsjoey t1_j7ngcol wrote

that's why I tried to to reached my ceiling umm, become a fun guy! I don't have a better pun than that

Also I have a few botonist friends and I'm looking certain people to start up a business


5thvoice t1_j7o08q6 wrote

We've had examples of much older (~130 mya) flowering plants for decades now. This discovery is specifically about lamiids, which only make up an (admittedly very large) portion of modern flowering plant species.


Cleistheknees t1_j7o11id wrote

That is correct. The second “flowering plants” was a typo on my part, and should have been asterids. That said, I could still certainly be outdated on my understanding of the advent of asterids. To my knowledge the oldest specimens are dated to the Coniacian.


PicardTangoAlpha t1_j7ogh0w wrote

>that structurally complex, modern-type rainforests may have been around as early as 80 million years ago.

Flowering plants arose at least as far back as 140 MA, the article's point is that such woody vines were around prior to the dinosaur's extinction.


Cleistheknees t1_j7oibty wrote

Well, as I’ve already said to the other person who said the same thing, it was a typo on my part exchanging “flowering plants” for “asterids”.

However, you should actually read the article you cited, because neither it nor the academic article it references present any evidence whatsoever of plants 140mya with morphology similar to what we call flowers. It is entirely a theoretical exercise.


giuliomagnifico OP t1_j7m2ppl wrote

Yes those plants are the precursors of the actual plants, they “survived” to the dinosaurs extinction and they evolved in the coffee, tomatoes, etc…


NeedlessPedantics t1_j7m3lf6 wrote

Redacted, because I’m an idiot.


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