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Journal Article

Structurally Preserved Fossil Plants from Antarctica. I. Antarcticycas, gen. nov., a Triassic Cycad Stem from the Beardmore Glacier Area

Edith L. Smoot, Thomas N. Taylor and T. Delevoryas
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 72, No. 9 (Sep., 1985), pp. 1410-1423
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2443514
Page Count: 14

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Topics: Tracheids, Pith, Anatomy, Canals, Periderm, Plant cells, Fossils, Xylem, Secondary xylem, Antarctic regions
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Structurally Preserved Fossil Plants from Antarctica. I. Antarcticycas, gen. nov., a Triassic Cycad Stem from the Beardmore Glacier Area
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Abstract

Silicified stems with typical cycadalean anatomy are described from specimens collected from the Fremouw Formation (Triassic) in the Transantarctic Mountains of Antarctica. Axes are slender with a large parenchymatous pith and cortex separated by a narrow ring of vascular tissue. Mucilage canals are present in both pith and cortex. Vascular tissue consists of endarch primary xylem, a narrow band of secondary xylem tracheids, cambial zone, and region of secondary phloem. Vascular bundles contain uni- to triseriate rays with larger rays up to 2 mm wide separating the individual bundles. Pitting on primary xylem elements ranges from helical to scalariform; secondary xylem tracheids exhibit alternate circular bordered pits. Traces, often accompanied by a mucilage canal, extend out through the large rays into the cortex where some assume a girdling configuration. A zone of periderm is present at the periphery of the stem. Large and small roots are attached to the stem and are conspicuous in the surrounding matrix. The anatomy of the Antarctic cycad is compared with that of other fossil and extant cycadalean stems.

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