Nanjing, March 3 (Reporter Yang Yanci) The reporter learned from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences on the 22nd that the institute has carried out multi-party cooperation with a number of scientific research units to use Micro-CT (micro-CT) technology to conduct in-depth and detailed research on a type of fossil material from the Middle Jurassic strata in northwest China, and the results confirmed the angiosperm properties of these Jurassic fossils. This is also the earliest fossil record of angiosperms in Northwest China. The findings were published in the Swiss academic journal Life.

As one of the most important plant taxa in the current ecosystem, angiosperms have attracted much attention from botanists. For hundreds of years, botanists have never stopped studying angiosperms, but the origin and early evolutionary history of angiosperms are still difficult problems faced by botanists.

Numerous paleobotanists have been searching for the earliest angiosperms, exploring the origin and history of angiosperms. Western paleobotanists have long held the view of the origin of angiosperms that there were no angiosperms before the Cretaceous. However, whether this view is correct or not can only be conclusive through fossil evidence.

According to the researchers, the fossils in this study came from Qinghai Province, Gansu Province and Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in northwest China. The researchers named the fossils Qingganninginfructus formosa. Through the micro-CT study of three-dimensional preserved angiosperm fossil specimens, the research team observed that the inverted ovules with a double bead indument preserved in the inside of the fruit were the key characteristics for judging the properties of angiosperms.

The above findings confirm the real existence of angiosperms in the Jurassic period, and indicate that angiosperms were widely distributed and reached a certain degree of prosperity in northwest China at that time. The fossil will help to further clarify the origin and early evolutionary history of angiosperms.

This research work was supported by the Second Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Comprehensive Scientific Expedition, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the National Natural Science Foundation of China. (End)