Angiosperm affinities of Surangea from the late Cretaceous Deccan Intertrappean Beds of central India
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Gondia Education Society High School and Junior College, Mohadi. Dist., Gondia, 4416014-M.S., India
Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences and Museum of Paleontology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 48019, USA
Department of Botany, J. M. Patel College, Bhandara-441904, India
Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611-7800, USA
Online publication date: 2022-12-30
Publication date: 2022-12-30
Acta Palaeobotanica 2022; 62(2): 196–204
  • Permineralized reproductive structures previously interpreted as fern megaspores are reinterpreted as angiosperm fruits.
  • The fruits are pentalocular septicidal capsules with seeds in axile placentation.
  • The seeds are ornamented with transverse ribs rather than spines, and are prominently arillate.
  • Although assignable to the angiosperm clade Pentapetalae, extant familial affinity remains elusive.
The genus Surangea Chitaley et Sheikh, based on permineralized specimens from the Deccan Intertrappean Beds of central India, was originally considered to represent a fern megasporangium. Reexamination of original material and new specimens has revealed that the structures are capsular fruits with well-defined seeds, rather than megasporangia. We describe Surangea fruits in detail, based on peels and micro-CT scanning, and document its distribution among multiple localities of the Deccan Intertrappean Beds. The fruits are pentacarpellate septicidal capsules with ~8–12 seeds per locule. The seeds are prominently ornamented with parallel ridges and have a curved embryo/endosperm cavity and a prominent aril. This set of features indicates eudicotyledonous affinities for Surangea. In particular, the combination of septicidal capsules, axile placentation and arillate campylotropus seeds suggests affinity with the order Myrtales, but it does not fit cleanly within an extant family. Surangea fruits add to the diversity of angiosperms known from this late Maastrichtian flora. It joins several other fruit types known from the Deccan flora that do not fall neatly into extant families, possibly representing parts of an endemic community that succumbed to environmental stress associated K-Pg boundary events and/or subsequent northward rafting of the Indian subcontinent.
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