Next SolSeminar will be presented by Peter Wilf on Lantern Fruits of Gondwana
Abstract. Two species of 52-million-year-old fossil lantern fruits, Physalis infinemundi and Physalis hunickenii, comprise the first Solanaceae fossils larger than a seed to be recognized and the oldest records of the family. We found these physaloid fossils by digging in modern steppe at Laguna del Hunco in Patagonian Argentina, but they grew at the edge of an ancient rainforest on the shores of a volcanic caldera lake from the terminal phase of the Gondwanan supercontinent. The fossils are incredibly rare, with only three specimens found among more than 8000 plant fossils collected at the site over 20 years. The fossils confirm that Solanaceae have an early history in South America, but that history stretches back to a time when South America still had close biogeographic connections to Australia through a warm Antarctica. In this presentation, I will put these significant Solanaceae fossils into context by discussing the Gondwanan paleogeographic setting and incredibly rich associated flora at Laguna del Hunco, how we use the rocks at the site to date the fossils and interpret the ancient environment, and the preservation of the lantern fruits and how to distinguish their informative features.
When? Friday Feb 18th 4 pm (GMT+0)
The zoom link to join the meeting is https://cuboulder.zoom.us/j/94333146166 Meeting ID: 943 3314 6166, password: Solanaceae
Watch this talk here: https://youtu.be/CgPIGlHdcWw