A new Bennettitalean genus from the Middle Jurassic of the Mikhailovskii Rudnik locality (Kursk Region, Russia)
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Bennettitalean leaves with unusual morphology were found in the Middle Jurassic (Bathonian) deposits of Mikhailovskii Rudnik locality (Kursk Region, European Russia). This morphotype derived on the basis of Pterophyllum-like pinnate leaves by coherent coalescence of segments, through which superficial similarity of leaves of the new genus to Nilssoniopteris Nath., possessing entire leaf blade, is achieved. Each of coalescent segments was completely isolated from neighboring segments by massive cuticular wall. This character distinguishes leaves of the new genus from coherent leaves, known in other gymnosperms. The unique preservation type characteristic of plant remains of the Mikhailovskii Rudnik locality, allowed us to study some details of anatomical structure of leaf segments in the new genus. In particular, it was established, that palisade mesophyll in segments was poorly developed, and metaxylem in vascular bundles comprises tracheids with scalariform to circular bordered pits.
Key wordsMiddle Jurassic Bathonian gymnosperms Bennettitales morphology anatomy systematics
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