Every year, scientists dig up thousands of remainsancient animals and plants, but do not have time to study them and sent for storage in the nearest museums. However, sooner or later these findings still fall into the hands of researchers who make amazing discoveries. So, in one of the museums of Germany, the fossil remains of the most ancient lily, a flower that originally grew in the tropics, were found, and in the times of Peter I appeared in Russia. The discovery surprised scientists, because the flower found was well preserved even though it survived the fall of a meteorite that had destroyed dinosaurs.
The remains of an ancient lily were found at the bottom of the formerLake Crato, located in the northeast of Brazil. It grew there about 115 million years ago and its length was almost 40 centimeters. Until now, scientists have been aware of more than 110 species of lilies, but the plant found was assigned to a completely new species, which was given the name Cratolirion bognerianum.
Ancient plants at the bottom of the lake
To the surprise of scientists, the plant is very goodpreserved. In the photos you can clearly distinguish the flower itself, narrow leaves and roots. The plant was petrified down to the cellular level, so scientists were able to see even tiny veins - the tubes through which the plant received water and nutrients from the soil.
To better see the structure of the flower, scientistsused computed tomography. Having conducted the plant through a special apparatus, the researchers examined layer by layer all the insides of an ancient find. A tomographic image can be viewed below: the leaves of the plant are marked dark green, the pistils are highlighted in light green, and the petals are orange.
Where did the first flowers appear?
Earlier on the site of the ancient lake of Brazil wereother plants have also been found, such as water lilies and the progenitor of modern pepper. Based on this, it is believed that a huge variety of various plants once grew on this territory. Scientists have speculated that all flowering plants originally appeared in hot places on the planet, in the tropics, and only then spread throughout the Earth.
The ancient lily is not the only findfor several years lay in a museum and did not attract the attention of scientists. The remains of an ancient hyena, for example, have lain in one of the museums for over 50 years. And in vain - it turned out that this ancient predator lived in the cold Arctic, and was very different from the modern relatives.
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