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Endocarps of Prunus (Rosaceae: Prunoideae) from the early Eocene of Wutu, Shandong Province, China

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Abstract:

Endocarps of the genus Prunus (family Rosaceae) have been described from early Eocene clay deposits in the Wutu Coal Mine, Shandong Province, China. Endocarps are elliptical or ovoid in lateral view, with a long canal that approaches the apex of the endocarp and contains the ventral vascular bundle. Comparisons with related living and fossil species of Prunus indicate that these endocarps should be assigned to Prunus wutuensis sp. nov. The endocarps from Wutu represent the earliest record of Prunus in Asia. Based on the distribution of fossil Prunus endocarps, the palaeobiogeographic history of the genus is shown on palaeogeographic maps of the Northern Hemisphere. The fossil data suggest that the genus first appeared in the early Eocene of North America and Asia, and then extended to Europe in the middle Eocene.

Keywords: CHINA; EARLY EOCENE; ENDOCARPS; PRUNUS; WUTU

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiangshan, Beijing 100093, P. R. China; Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, P. R. China 2: Department of Paleontology, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, 29 rue Vautier, 1000 Brussels, Belgium 3: State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiangshan, Beijing 100093, P. R. China 4: Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany, Lucknow, India

Publication date: 2011-04-01

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