Angiosperm fossils from latitude 70°S


WE have found fossil angiosperm leaves more than 1,000 km further south than any other previously reported. Specimens were obtained in situ by R. W. B. from tuffs in a volcanic sequence in the eastern Elgar Uplands of northern Alexander Island (Fig. 1). Hitherto in Antarctica, angiosperm macrofossils have been reported only from the northern Antarctic Peninsula area in Tertiary sediments on Seymour Island1 and in volcaniclastic sequences on King George Island, South Shetland Islands2,3, although angiosperm microfossils, mainly pollen, have been found in erratics of marine sandstone from the McMurdo Sound area4. The source area of these latter specimens however, is not known, and it is well known that some pollens, including that of Nothofagus, can be transported in detectable quantities over large distances5. No macro plant fossils seem to be associated with the McMurdo Sound pollen.

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THOMSON, M., BURN, R. Angiosperm fossils from latitude 70°S. Nature 269, 139–141 (1977).

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