The first record of fossil atherospermataceous wood from the upper Cretaceous of Antarctica
Fossil wood of the Atherospermataceae from the upper Cretaceous of James Ross Island, Antarctica, is described for the first time and represents the earliest record of this family in the Southern Hemisphere. The specimens are characterised by diffuse porous arrangement of vessels, scalariform perforation plates, scalariform and opposite intervessel pitting and predominantly multiseriate rays which occasionally bear low, uniseriate margins. Despite anatomical conformity at the familial level, the fossil woods are not identical to any one extant genus and have therefore been assigned to the fossil organ genus, Laurelites Nishida, Nishida et Nasa, with which the fossils show greatest similarity.
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