Experts have discovered the fossilized 400-million-old remains of a new plant species from Canada.
This might offer further insight into the “evolutionary history” according to experts.
The research has been published in the scientific journal Current Biology, and it analyzed about 30 chips of rock that have been excavated from the Campbellton Formation in New Brunswick.
The plant lived during the times when moss covered the ground
It’s been revealed that the extinct plans most likely belongs to the group of plants known as herbaceous barinophytes. More than that, it also seems that the plant lived during the times when moss used to cover the ground.
“Usually when we see heterosporous plants appear in the fossil record, they just sort of pop into existence,” according to the study’s senior author, Andrew Leslie, in a statement.
Leslie continued and explained that “We think this may be kind of a snapshot of this very rarely witnessed transition period in evolutionary history where you see high variation amongst spores in the reproductive structure.”
The plant produced spores that ranged in size from about 70 to 200 microns in diameter (this is about a strand to two strands of hair, just so that you can understand the size) – this managed to shock experts considering the state that they were found in.
A rare discovery
“It’s rare to get this many sporangia with well-preserved spores that you can measure,” Leslie added as cited by Fox News.
This discovery of the new species predates something that was believed to be the oldest example of reproductive biology in plants by about 20 million years.
Leslie said that “These kinds of fossils help us locate when and how exactly plants achieved that kind of partitioning of their reproductive resources. The very end of that evolutionary history of specialization is something like a flower.”