Gandolfo, M. A., K. C. Nixon, and W. L. Crepet. 1998. Tylerianthus crossmanensis gen. et sp. nov., (aff. Hydrangeaceae) from the Upper Cretaceous of New Jersey. American Journal of Botany 85(3): 376-386.

Abstract: A fossil flower with affinities to the families of the saxifragalean complex is described. Fossils were collected at Old Crossman Pit, Raritan Formation, New Jersey, USA. These sediments are dated on the basis of palynology as Turonian (Upper Cretaceous, ~90 million years before present). Fossils are charcoalified and preserved with exceptional three-dimensional detail. The characters observed in these flowers, when compared with those of extant flowers of several families of the saxifragalean complex, suggest a close relationship with extant members of the Saxifragaceae and Hydrangeaceae. Hypotheses on the origin of petals and staminodes and a possible mechanism of pollination are discussed. This new taxon provides additional characters in the floral morphology of the fossil saxifragoids and extends their geographical distribution in the Cretaceous to North America.

FOSSIL PHOTOS

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Tylerianthus crossmanensis
Actual width in ( ) unless otherwise noted.

Top view of flower
(635 µm)
Side view of flower
(height= 950 µm)
Top view of flower with sepal
(flower + sepal= 1.4 mm)

Side view of fruit
(height= 1.1 mm)
Ovules
(image= 635 µm)

Stamen
(height= 358 µm)
Pollen grains
(6 µm)