Zagadkowa roślina z wczesnej jury Gór Świętokrzyskich

Gerard D. Gierliński, Izabela Ploch, Karol Sabath, Jadwiga Ziaja


An Early Jurassic problematical plant from the Holy Cross Mountains, central Poland.
Summary. Fossils plants (less than 0.5 m high) preserved in upright position were found in Śmiłów Quarry (E of Szydłowiec) at the northern slope of the Holy Cross Mountains. The plants were preserved as impressions of ascending narrow-leafed stems in fine-grained sandstone of the Drzewica Formation (upper Pliensbachian). The leaves are 5–25 cm long and about 2–5 mm wide; the angle between them and the short main axis ranges within 20–30o. Morphology of the plant resembles schizeacean ferns, but also that of Aethophyllum stipulare Brongniart 1828 from Anisian of France, recognized by Grauvogel-Stamm (1978) as an herbaceous gymnosperm. Grauvogel-Stamm (1978) supposed that the leaves Podozamites and cone scales Swedenborgia, common in Jurassic strata of higher palaeolatitudes, are derived from descendants of Aethophyllum. Podozamites leaves often occur in many dinosaur track-bearing horizons in the Polish Jurassic. Thus, herbaceous conifers might have played an important and often underestimated role in the Mesozoic ecosystems (possibly as a substantial part of dinosaur diet). The possiblity of coniferous equivalents of Cenophytic herbaceous angiosperms, as well as a possibility of their coevolution with Mesozoic low browsing and grazing herbivore megafauna is worth further palaeobotanical and palaeoecological studies.

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