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Regalado, Ledis; Schmidt, Alexander R.; Krings, Michael; Bechteler, Julia; Schneider, Harald; Heinrichs, Jochen (2018): Fossil evidence of eupolypod ferns in the mid-Cretaceous of Myanmar. In: Plant Systematics and Evolution, Vol. 304, No. 1: pp. 1-13
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Abstract

Divergence time estimates based on DNA sequence variation of extant species suggest that eupolypod ferns were diverse already in the Cretaceous;however, fossil evidence to support this assumption remains exceedingly rare. Holttumopteris burmensis gen. et sp. nov., a fertile fern foliage fragment preserved in a piece of Albian-Cenomanian Burmese amber from Myanmar, is characterized by divided fertile leaves with catadromous, free lateral veins. Sporangia possess a vertical annulus interrupted by the sporangium stalk and contain monolete spores with a lophate perine. The sporangia occur clustered in discrete sori overarched by a laterally attached, reniform indusium. Reconstruction of ancestral character states suggests affinities of Holttumopteris to the Thelypteridaceae;however, several taxonomically relevant characters are not preserved. This discovery is nevertheless important because H. burmensis represents the first unequivocal fossil of a representative of the eupolypods from the middle Cretaceous.