Crepet, W. L. and K. C. Nixon. 1998. Fossil Clusiaceae from the Late Cretaceous (Turonian) of New Jersey and implications regarding the history of bee pollination. American Journal of Botany 85 (8):1122-1133.

Abstract: The Turonian flora from Sayreville, New Jersey includes one of the world's most diverse assemblages of Cretaceous angiosperm flowers. This flora is made even more interesting by its association with a vast insect fauna that is preserved by charcoalification as well as in amber. Floral diversity includes numerous representatives of Magnoliidae, Hamamelididae, Rosidae, and Dilleniidae. Among the most interesting flowers are hypogynous, five merous flowers with uniseriate hairs on the pedicels and receptacles. These flowers have stamens in bundles borne opposite the petals. There is considerable variation in length of filaments and some filaments are branched. On some anthers, strands of residue, suggesting the former presence of a liquid of unknown nature, partially occlude the apparent zone of dehiscence. In other cases, open anthers are fully occluded by an amorphous substance. Pollen is rarely found associated with anthers, but is common on stigmatic surfaces. Pollen is prolate and tricolporate with reticulate micromorphology. The superior syncarpous ovary is 5-carpellate with axile/intruded parietal placentation and numerous anatropous ovules/carpel. Ovary partitions have closely spaced, parallel ascending channels. Seeds have reticulate sculpture pattern and have funicular arils. Styles are short and fused. Individual stigmas are cuneiform with a central groove and eccentrically peltate. In aggregate, the stigmas form a secondarily peltate stigma. The fossils show affinities with Theales and phylogenetic analysis of several data matrices including the fossil place this taxon in a monophyletic group with the genera Garcinia and Clusia within Clusiaceae. Modern Clusiaceae are notable for their close relationship with meliponine bee pollinators, the fossil flowers share several characters that suggest a similar mode of pollination. This possibility is consistent with other floral and insect data from the same locality.

FOSSIL PHOTOS

FOSSIL PHOTOS
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Paleoclusia chevalieri
Actual width in ( ) unless otherwise noted.

Top view of flower
(0.87 mm)
Side view of flower
(height= 1.5 mm)
Fascicle of stamens/staminodes
(height= 0.62 mm)

Stamen
(height= 208 µm)
Pollen grains
(grain length= 9.4 µm)
Ovules
(ovule length= 184 µm)
Seed
(length= 633 µm)


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