Fossil pollen records of the problematical primitive angiosperm familyLactoridaceae in Australia
- Cite this article as:
- Macphail, M.K., Partridge, A.D. & Truswell, E.M. Pl Syst Evol (1999) 214: 199. doi:10.1007/BF00985739
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Microfossils which matchLactoris (Lactoridaceae) pollen more closely than those of any other living angiosperm occur in Campanian to Paleogene sediments around the margins of Australia. These are referred to the fossil genus Lactoripollenites (Zavada & Benson 1987). A species belonging to the same genus occurs in older (Turonian-Santonian) deposits off southern Africa but Australian specimens represent not only the most southern, but also the youngest known (Oligocene) records to date. Our data support suggestions that theLactoridaceae were widespread across the Southern Hemisphere during the Late Cretaceous (Lammers & al. 1986,Zavada & Benson 1987). An homology between gymnosperm sacci and the saccus-like structures found in Lactoripollenites and some specimens ofLactoris pollen is contested, as is the use of (anasulcate) apertures to support the primitive position of the family.