A team of researchers from Oregon State University discovered an amazing previously unknown flower that is perfectly preserved in a drop of Burmese amber. It is at least 100 million years old and grew up around the middle of the Cretaceous. The opening was made on the eve of the Christmas holidays. A researcher George Poinar noted that the plant was beautiful considering that the flower was part of a forest that existed 100 million years ago.
This is a male. The flower was very tiny, only 2 millimeters in diameter. It has about 50 stamens arranged in a spiral. Its study will give science new information about the biology and ecology of the distant past.
According to the scientists, despite its small size, the flower in amber perfectly preserved all the small details. The plant has an egg-shaped hollow flower thicket. It is the part that the stamens come from.
There is an outer layer that contains six petal-like components. And there are two-chambered anthers with pollen sacs. They open through flaps. The color previously unknown to science was given the official name Valviloculus pleristaminis.
The unique plant was encased in an amber shell on the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana. It made a long journey across the continental plate, passing the ocean from Australia to Southeast Asia.
The geologists still find it difficult to name the exact time period when the block of land known as West Burmese could have separated from Gondwanna. According to some theoretical calculations, it could have happened about 200 million years ago.
Other sources state that the separation took place at least 500 million years ago. It is not the first time Burmese amber has brought unexpected surprises. Numerous flowers and branches of plants, as well as the remains of ancient insects, were repeatedly found in it.