By: José Juárez Ruiz(Author), Michael Wachtler(Author)
An interesting new fossil flora from the Balearic Islands in Spain is described. Although the Estellencs site has only been known since the 19th century, new research has added a rich conifer association. Estellencsia saezii nov. gen. n. sp. with its elongated female cones and winged seeds has the same parental affinities with today’s Picea or Keteleeria species. The community was rich in Araucarian-ancestor species. Aethophyllum stipulare var. balearica was a low-growing, small and monoecious conifer, generating fully developed cones on just 15- to 20-cm high plants. Parented plants were previously known just from the French-German coeval layers, as well as Pelourdea vogesiaca with its tongue-shaped leaves. Ortiseia collii n. sp. was characterized by its scales with only one embedded seed, like the extant Araucaria. The fern Anomopteris mougeotii and the horsetail Equisetites mougeotii – widespread plants in European Anisian layers – were common, whereas Sagenopteris nadalii n. sp., usually a seed fern common in the Jurassic, constitutes a surprisingly frequent flora element. A rich accompanying inchnofauna and insect biocoenosis put it beyond doubt that this site is important.
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