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New Species of Nematothallus from the Silurian Bloomsburg Formation of Pennsylvania
Paul. K. Strother
Journal of Paleontology
Vol. 62, No. 6 (Nov., 1988), pp. 967-982
Published by: Paleontological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1305385
Page Count: 16
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Thallus, Anatomy, Plants, Animal cuticle, Plexus, Fossils, Paleontology, Algae, Acetates, Peels
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The early terrestrial fossil record contains numerous Siluro-Devonian problematic Thallophyta which have morphological and habitat characteristics intermediate between the algae and the embryophytic plant kingdom. Three new species of the genus Nematothallus Lang (N. taenia, N. lobata, and N. elliptica) are described from a coaly lens in the Bloomsburg Formation (Ludlow). They are included in the order Nematophytales, which is placed in a new informal taxonomic group, Paraphyta, intended to include enigmatic, terrestrial plant-like fossils. These species designations are based upon the gross morphology of carbonized thalli which consist of an underlying anatomy of flattened tubular elements. The association and attachment of cuticles and axes of ?Prototaxites to Nematothallus is clearly demonstrated in these collections. The morphological and anatomical variety expressed in the numerous fragments of thalli from the deposit implies moderate levels of organic diversity in a "flora" of nonvascular, terrestrial plant-like thallophytes which predates the adaptive radiation of the embryophytes.
Journal of Paleontology © 1988 Paleontological Society