While most people are more consumed with their fascination of the gigantic creatures that used to roam Earth, scientists focused on a different chapter recently, namely botany. By running data through computers, they came to realize some groundbreaking facts of the past. They discovered the first flower which is the original ancestor of all corollas we see today. The 14 million-year-old plant looks like a water lily.
The First Flower Had Three Open Circles of Petals Which Is Unusual Today
The Earth today carries the offspring of the old flower which used to act as both mother and father making it a bisexual plant. While scientists can never hope for a fossil of ancient herbs, they put technology at work to determine new data about a world that long disappeared.
The first of flowering plants also called as angiosperm had no special physical features at first sight. It presented with three concentric circles while the petals were shaped like organs unlike plants nowadays. The multiple layers are unusual these days as plants are now displaying two of them at most. While science couldn’t determine the color of such a specimen, the lead author of the study is sure that it was compelling.
The profile of angiosperms remained a mystery for decades. The father of evolution, Charles Darwin, wasn’t able to perceive past the mist of forgotten history. Therefore, he described the rapid development of such plants in the Cretaceous period as “an abominable mystery.”
Scientists Ran Data from 800 Species of Flowers to Find the Truth about Angiosperms
The paper that appeared in journal Nature Communications suggested further interesting details about the extinct plant. For instance, the flower of the angiosperm used to bloom wide open. That’s because back then there were no pollinators to encourage the reproduction of the plants. By comparison, nowadays flowers are presenting quite a challenge for bees to get pass their petals. This way, they make sure the pollination process is better applied.
The study is based on analysis of around 800 species of flowers. The findings go against earlier suppositions that angiosperms had first spiraled petals. Nonetheless, scientists need more work to uncover all the secrets that history buried in time.
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