Gandolfo, M. A., K. C. Nixon, W. L. Crepet, and G. E. Radcliffe. 1997. A new fossil fern assignable to Gleicheniaceae from Late Cretaceous sediments of New Jersey. American Journal of Botany 84 (4): 483-493.

Abstract: The recent discovery of well-preserved charcoalified rhizomes, petioles, pinnules, sori, and spores from the Upper Cretaceous of New Jersey provides the basis for the description of a new gleicheniaceous fern, Boodlepteris turoniana. The fossils were collected from unconsolidated sediments of Turonian age (~ 90 MYBP, million years before present; Raritan/ Lower Magothy Formation, Potomac Group). These deposits are rich in angiosperms, but also have a limited representation of fern and gymnosperm remains. Fossil specimens from this locality are particularly remarkable in that minute detail, including anatomical features, are often preserved. Some Boodlepteris specimens have cell by cell preservation that reveals the nature and structure of the stele in rhizomes and petioles, and others show minute details of the sori borne on fertile pinnae. Although these specimens are not in organic connection, there are sufficient structural and anatomical details preserved to confidently suggest that they belong to the same taxon. Cladistic analysis of the fossils, both separately and as a reconstruction, support assignment of Boodlepteris to the extant family Gleicheniaceae.

FOSSIL PHOTOS

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Boodlepteris turoniana
Actual width in ( ) unless otherwise noted.

Rhizome
(2.4 mm)
Cross-section of petiole
(1.4 mm)
Petiole overview
(height= 1.4 mm)

Pinnule
(height= 1.9 mm)
Pinnule with sori
(height= 2.8 mm)
Sorus
(0.68 mm)
Trilete spore
(17.4 µm)

Immature frond
(height= 1.4 mm)
Pinnule with sori showing
attachment of sporangia
(height= 1.9 mm)
Stomata
(ea.= 30 µm)