The Enigma of Angiosperm Origins

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The origins of angiosperms are still debated, despite many years of work by scientists from differing disciplines. The progress made toward resolving the problem is reviewed in this book. The author suggests that the only fruitful method of study is the total integrated use of the fossil record, particularly dispersed palynomorphs. This includes the use of electron microscopy and refined data handling to record the occurrence of microscopic fossils, rather than the extensive use of morphology and cladistics. The methods advocated in this book could result in a rethinking of the current classification of living plants, and it is hoped that the ideas presented will initiate discussion between both professionals and students of paleontology and plant science on the wider possibilities that may clarify the enigmatic origins of the dominant flowering plant groups.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Enigma of Angiosperm Origins contains much of value and should be read by all those interested in angiosperm evolution. It is a thought provoking and controversial book in that it challenges conventional ideas and methods." Mary Dettmann, AASP Newsletter

"..a superb book..challenging and thought-provoking, without being intimidating...should make us all think about what we are doing and why." P.M. Rees, Geological Magazine

"...provides a useful overview on the Lower Cretaceous succession of monosulcate columellate-tectate pollen types." David Cantrill, Plant Science Bulletin

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521675543
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/31/2005
  • Series: Cambridge Paleobiology Series, #1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.85 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface; Part I. The Setting of the Problem: 1. Outline history of investigations; 2. Current contributions on origin; 3. Challenges to customary procedures; 4. Working principles; 5. Stratigraphic framework; 6. General Mesozoic palynologic evidence; 7. Integration of Mesozoic floras and faunas; Part II. The Evidence for Cretaceous Origin: 8. Mesozoic megafossils; 9. English Barremian monosulcate pollen; 10. First convincing angiospermous fossils; 11. Cretaceous angiosperm consolidation; Part III. Consequences and Conclusions: 12. Cenozoic angiosperm radiation; 13. Research unattained but possible; 14. Principles, time and choice; 15. General biological conclusions; Glossary; References; Index.

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