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Seagrass foliage from the Maastrichtian type area (Maastrichtian,Danian, NE Belgium, SE Netherlands)
van der Ham, R.W.J.M.; van Konijnenburg-van Cittert, J.H.A.; Indeherberge, L. (2007). Seagrass foliage from the Maastrichtian type area (Maastrichtian,Danian, NE Belgium, SE Netherlands). Rev. Palaeobot. Palynol. 144(3-4): 301-321. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.revpalbo.2006.07.008
In: Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology. Elsevier: Tokyo; Oxford; Lausanne; New York; Shannon; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0034-6667, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 279459 [ OMA ]

Keywords
    Danian; Maastrichtian; Cymodoceaceae N. Taylor [WoRMS]; Posidoniaceae Lotsy [WoRMS]; Thalassocharis; Belgium, Limburg [Marine Regions]; Netherlands, Limburg (Province); Marine
Author keywords
    seagrass leaves; Cymodoceaceae; Posidoniaceae; Thalassocharis;Maastrichtian

Authors  Top 
  • van der Ham, R.W.J.M.
  • van Konijnenburg-van Cittert, J.H.A.
  • Indeherberge, L.

Abstract
    Seagrasses are the only angiosperms that have invaded the marine environment. Fossil seagrasses are rare and received only little attention to date. However, among the scarce plant fossils in the marine deposits of the Maastrichtian type area, remains of seagrasses are relatively common. The present paper provides a detailed description of the morphology and anatomy of the leaves. Maastrichtian and Danian material is considered here as a single species: Thalassotaenia debeyi gen. nov., sp. nov. Campanian material is assigned to Zosterites, but this is not necessarily a seagrass. Thalassotaenia includes the oldest anatomically preserved material of seagrass leaves. Comparison with extant seagrasses shows that there is not an easy match with any of the extant genera or families. Amphibolis and Thalassodendron (Cymodoceaceae) and Posidonia (Posidoniaceae) show the greatest resemblance. Possibly, Thalassotaenia represents the leaves of an ancestor of the Cymodoceaceae-Posidoniaceae (-Ruppiaceae) clade found in several phylogenetic analyses. Because Thalassotaenia also shows some features not found in extant seagrasses, it might also represent an extinct clade of seagrasses.

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