A 100-million-year-old flower

The tiny flower above – around 4 mm in diameter – belonged to a tree that lived 100 million years ago in what was then the island of Greater India. The tree was a member of a species dubbed Tropidogyne pentaptera, which scientists believe was a rainforest tree related to the Ceropetalum genus found today in Australian and Papua New Guinea. 

The specimen was found in Myanmar with six others, preserved in amber. Georges Poinar, the scientists who described the flowers, speculates that a passing dinosaur may have knocked the flowers into a pool of resin from an araucaria tree that fossilised over time into amber. 

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