99 million-year-old flowers discovered in Burmese amber ‘completely preserved’

Team Udayavani, Feb 2, 2022, 1:40 PM IST

A recent study estimates that two flowers found perfectly preserved in globs of Burmese amber are 99 million years old.

The two blooms flowered once at the feet of dinosaurs in what is now Myanmar.

According to CNN, the well-preserved state gives light on the evolution of blooming plants.

Leaves are far more robust than flowers, according to study author Rober Spicer, and hence have a greater potential for preservation.

Robert Spicer is a professor emeritus at The Open University in the United Kingdom’s School of Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences.

He further said the flowers found in the amber are ‘almost identical to their modern relatives with no major differences.

“Flowering plants reproduce more quickly than other plants have more complex breeding mechanisms — a wide variety of flower forms, for example, often in close ‘collaboration’ with pollinators. This drives mutual coevolution of many lineages of plants and animals, shaping ecosystems,” said Spicer.

Researchers called one of the preserved flowers ‘Eophylica priscatellata.’ ‘Phylica piloburmensis’ is the name given to the other.

Many early flowers were exposed to fires in semi-arid areas, according to Spicer, who believes that fires must have been a common occurrence over a long period of time for flowers to evolve.

Dinosaur-era amber fossils aren’t found everywhere in the world. The deposits are exclusively found in Kachin State, Myanmar’s northernmost state.


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