Plant Diversity

Tracheophytes— Flowering Plants (Angiosperms)

Why do some scientists believe flowering plants evolved earlier than 125 million years ago?

Scientists do not know for certain which was the world’s first flowering plant, and their analysis changes every year based on new fossils or genetic studies. Still, based on current fossil evidence, many paleobotanists believe the first angiosperms arose 140 to 190 million years ago.

Another group of researchers believes the first flower plants may have evolved even earlier—about 215 million years ago. They base their theory on the genetic comparisons between living plants and clues from fossils to reconstruct the relationships between more than 150 terrestrial plant species. Their results showed that the dates corresponded with our knowledge of vascular and seed plants, but they had a much older date for the origin of angiosperms—dates that did not correspond (so far) with the fossil record.


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