A recent study has revealed that the first flower to ever bloom on our planet lived underwater, in Spain, 130 million years ago.
An international team of European paleontologists inspected more than 1.000 fossils and came to the conclusion that the Montsechia Vidalii is the oldest plant to ever have flowers.
The new findings may revolutionize modern day theories as the researcher team wrote in their study that “Because it is so ancient and is totally aquatic, [it] raises questions centered on the very early evolutionary history of flowering plants”.
Donald Les, member of the University of Connecticut, is a field expert who did not take part in the study. But he aggresses with its findings and offered a statement informing that 120 million years ago the world suffered very dynamic biological processes. This is when flowering plants began to emerge and to establish themselves as “the dominant global floristic element”.
Previous attempts at explaining the quick rise of angiosperms have failed because evolutionary biologists and paleontologists have found it difficult to offer answers without having any idea of what the earliest plants used to look like, and behave like. Such information is vital because it allows experts to understand how plants evolved over time.
So few things are known about the issue that field experts wouldn’t be surprised if another ancient flowering plant proved to be even older than the Montsechia Vidalii. Before the new study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, another aquatic plant – the Archaefructus Sinensis – was thought to be the Earth’s oldest flowering plant. It used to grow in China.
In fact, field experts still can’t agree on whether the first flowering plant used to be terrestrial or aquatic. Both the Montsechia Vidalii and the Archaefructus Sinensis were aquatic species, but some experts have suggested that the first flowering plant may have lived in darkened forests, on land.
Their theory is hard to disprove because only 2 percent (2%) of modern day angiosperms are aquatic species. On top of this, plant researches generally agree that aquatic flowering plants derived from terrestrial flowering plant.
Image Source: guim.co.uk