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Mosacaulis spinifer gen. et sp nov.: An enigmatic Maastrichtian plant
van der Ham, R.W.J.M.; van Konijnenburg-van Cittert, J.H.A.; Kieft, B.N.; Sachs, A.W. (2011). Mosacaulis spinifer gen. et sp nov.: An enigmatic Maastrichtian plant. Rev. Palaeobot. Palynol. 168(1): 51-67. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.revpalbo.2011.09.005
In: Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology. Elsevier: Tokyo; Oxford; Lausanne; New York; Shannon; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0034-6667, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Late Cretaceous; Maastrichtian type area; lycopsid; angiosperm; seagrass

Authors  Top 
  • van der Ham, R.W.J.M.
  • van Konijnenburg-van Cittert, J.H.A.
  • Kieft, B.N.
  • Sachs, A.W.

Abstract
    Dichotomously branched stem fragments with crowded, spirally arranged, trifurcate leaf base remains from the type area of the Maastrichtian (Late Cretaceous; SE Netherlands, NE Belgium) are described as a new genus and species: Mosacaulis spinifer Van der Ham et Van Konijnenburg-van Cittert. They are interpreted as fossils of (pseudo)herbaceous axes with densely spaced, semi-amplexicaul leaves arranged in low spirals, with reproductive structures (sporangia?, prophylls associated with flowering axes?) attached to the adaxial sides of the leaf bases. M. spinifer is considered to be of unknown affinity (incertae sedis), showing resemblances with such disparate lineages as lycopsids and angiosperms. Its seagrass-like habit, gregarious occurrence, the association with genuine seagrass and a diverse marine fauna (including epibionts on the stems), and the absence of any terrigenous material, remains of land plants and terrestrial palynomorphs suggest that M. spinifer grew in a fully marine environment.

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