FOSSIL ALDROVANDA – ADDITIONS
Carnivorous Plant Newsletter 26: 98 (1997).
DR. J. SCHLAUER
Keywords: evolution: Aldrovanda.
Two articles that appeared in the 1960's are not considered in the previous, otherwise accurate paper by Dr. Degreef. As they contain important additional information they shall be mentioned in brief here.
Weyland, H., Pflug, H. D., Marinos, G., and Anastopoulos, J. 1961, Beiträge zur fossilen Flora des Braunkohlenbeckens von Megalopolis im Peloponnes (Griechenland), Palaeontographica Abt. B Paläophytologie 108: 93-120.
Peters, I. 1963, Die Flora der oberpfälzer Braunkohlen and ihre õkologische and stratigraphische Bedeutung, Palaeontographica Abt. B Paläophytologie 112: 1-50.
The first paper reports on another Tertiary find. Seeds of A. megalopolitana are described (on pp. 104-105, t. 18 fig. 10-11) from the Pliocene of south Greece. The seeds have a rather thick testa, and especially noteworthy is an interior layer of cells that are stretched at right angles to the longitudinal axis of the seeds. This character is only observed in one other fossil species, viz. the Late Cretaceous Palaeoaldrovanda splendens (cf. Dr. Degreef's paper). According to the authors, no other fossil Aldrovanda seeds are known in which this cell layer is preserved. For completeness, the species A. megalopolitana is included in Figures 1 and 2 of Dr. Degreef's paper.
The second paper is even more intriguing. In this paper (on pp. 29-31, t. 13 fig. 74-76, t. 14 fig. 77-81), fossil laminae of Aldrovanda inopinata from the Upper Miocene (approximately 6 MYA) of Wackersdorf (southeast Germany) are described (Figure 1). They are rather similar to the traps of the recent A. vesiculosa but differ in their more cuneate base, the longer apical spur with more bristles, the (apparently) missing sensitive hairs in the central portion of the leaves and the (apparently) missing quadrifid trichomes in the marginal zone. It is a pity that this important and rather sensational find is not cited in large portions of the more recent literature dealing with Aldrovanda fossils.
Aldrovanda inopinata Peters
Figure 1: Aldrovanda inopinata Peters, reconstruction of lamina. Reprinted with permission by Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Stuttgart, Germany.
"Used with joint permission of the International Carnivorous Plant Society"
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