A petrified cycad trunk from the Late Cretaceous of the Larsen Basin, Antarctica
Cetricycas antarcticus gen. et sp. nov. occurs in the Late Coniacian to Campanian Lachman Crags Member of the Santa Marta Formation, Marambio Group, James Ross Island, Antarctica. The petrified trunk comprises a thick pith containing thin and thick walled parenchymous cells, vascular traces surrounded by a thin layer of loose secondary wood. Medullary bundles arise inside the wood zone and pass outwards through multiseriate medullary rays. The trunk anatomy indicates assignment to the Cycadales, and the presence of medullary bundles indicates the affinities with a clade comprising Lepidozamia, Macrozamia, and Encephalartos. This clade is presently confined to Australia and Africa, but fossil representatives extend the geographic range to India, South America and now Antarctica.
Authors: Cantrill, D.J.
1 January, 2000
Alcheringa: An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology / 24