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A new diminutive euphyllophyte from the Middle Devonian of West Junggar, Xinjiang, China and its evolutionary implications
Update time: 06/14/2017
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Devonian (4.2-3.6 billion years ago) is a period of significant changes in terrestrial landscape, the plant community appeared in a variety of plant types, all kinds of tall early ferns, stone pine, ferns Almost occupied all the land, large-scale forest also appeared the first time. West Junggar, Xinjiang, China is continuously produces abundant fossils of the Middle Devonian, which has become the representative producer of the Late Devonian flora in the northern area of China.

Hong-He Xu researcher from Nanjing Institute of Geology and paleontology, CAS and others have long been studying the Devonian paleontology and stratigraphy in the western margin of the Junggar Basin in northern Xinjiang. A diminutive euphyllophyte, Douaphyton levigata gen. et sp. nov., is described from the upper Middle Devonian (Givetian) Hujiersite Formation of West Junggar, Xinjiang, China. The plant consists of more than three orders of axis branching, each axis being less than 2 mm wide. The second-order axes are short, laterally and alternately attached to the main axis. The third-order axes are paired and anisotomously divided, bearing the vegetative appendages or the fertile units. The fertile unit consists of a short recurved axis giving off up to four short pedicels along one side, each of which bears one to four pairs of terminal sporangia. Douaphyton has a three-dimensional branching system that has an intermediate form in the evolutionary context of euphyllophytes and lignophytes. It is also proposed that complex branching developed in multiple groups in the Middle Devonian.

Paper’s relevant information: Xu, H.-H., Wang, Y., Tang, P., Wang, Y., 2017. A new diminutive euphyllophyte from the Middle Devonian of West Junggar, Xinjiang, China and its evolutionary implications. Alcheringa.

Paper link: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03115518.2017.1321685?journalCode=talc20

(Information source: Nanjing Branch of CAS)

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