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A Paleogene trans-Antarctic distribution for Ripogonum (Ripogonaceae: Liliales)?


Carpenter, RJ and Wilf, P and Conran, JG and Ruben Cuneo, N, A Paleogene trans-Antarctic distribution for Ripogonum (Ripogonaceae: Liliales)?, Palaeontologia Electronica, 17, (3) Article 39A. ISSN 1935-3952 (2014) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2014 Palaeontological Association

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DOI: doi:10.26879/460


An impressive and growing list of biogeographically interesting plant and animal taxa occur in Paleogene sediments of both southern Australia and southern South America, indicating trans-Antarctic distributions during the warm past. Here, we provide the first evidence that the living, woody, Australasian monocot Ripogonum was present during the early Eocene of Patagonia, Argentina. Two fossil leaves are sufficiently well preserved in overall shape, size, and fine venation details to be assigned to the genus, being closely comparable to leaves of the extant species R. album and R. scandens and the recently described early Eocene species R. tasmanicum from Tasmania, Australia. The new species, R. americanum, is described. Overall, this evidence suggests that Ripogonum had a significantly larger past range, including Antarctica, during the early Paleogene, when Antarctica was much more closely connected to both Tasmania and South America and high latitude climates were warm and wet. Ecologically, the South American Ripogonum was probably a scrambling vine in mesic forest and grew in association with a rich understory flora of ferns and angiosperms.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Argentina, Australasia, Eocene, Liliales, new species, Ripogonum
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Evolutionary biology
Research Field:Biogeography and phylogeography
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Carpenter, RJ (Dr Raymond Carpenter)
ID Code:98688
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:20
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2015-02-24
Last Modified:2017-11-01

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