Pararaucaria carrii sp nov., anatomically preserved evidence for the conifer family cheirolepidiaceae in the northern hemisphere Public Deposited

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  • A cylindrical permineralized conifer seed cone has been identified from the Officer Member of the Trowbridge Formation, near Izee, in east-central Oregon. The cone is preserved in a Middle Jurassic (Callovian) marine calcium carbonate concretion, associated with araucarian seed cones, conifer twigs and wood, cycad seeds, fern rachides, and lycopodialean remains and was prepared by the cellulose acetate peel technique. The specimen is abraded, 2.8 cm long and 1.3 cm wide, and consists of a cone axis with helically arranged bract/scale complexes, with a large ovuliferous scale and a broad, flattened bract. The bract/scale trace arises as a cylindrical unit from the cone axis, in which the bract and scale traces are separated by ground tissue. The traces separate immediately in the cortex to form a crescent-shaped bract trace and a horseshoe-shaped scale trace with associated sclerenchyma bands that form two triangular bundles toward the distal end of the scale. Ovuliferous scale tissue covers one inverted seed per scale, forming a pocket that contains the seed. Seeds are attached at the chalaza to the inside of the pocket. Seed integuments have an outer epidermis of isodiametric cells with dark contents; one or two layers of palisade cells, occasionally appearing in I-beam configuration; and several inner layers of randomly arranged cells. The nucellus is adnate to the integument, to near the apex, where it forms a cellular mound of tissue. Cylindrical cones with helically arranged bract/scale complexes, bract and scale free to the base, one seed per scale enclosed in a pocket, and triangular sclerenchyma bands are characteristic of the genus Pararaucaria, which recently has been placed in the extinct conifer family Cheirolepidiaceae. This third species extends the known range of Pararaucaria from the Southern Hemisphere to the Northern Hemisphere and emphasizes that the association of araucarian and pararaucarian conifers extended over a wide geographic area during the Jurassic.
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  • Stockey, R., & Rothwell, G. (2013). Pararaucaria carrii sp nov., anatomically preserved evidence for the conifer family cheirolepidiaceae in the northern hemisphere. International Journal of Plant Sciences, 174(3), 445-457. doi:10.1086/668614
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