Paulophyton from the carboniferous of Paracas, Peru: a rare but widespread fossil plant with unusual morphology

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Iannuzzi, R
Pfefferkorn, HW
Alleman, V
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Revista Brasileira de Paleontología
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Paulophyton has the appearance of an Early or Middle Devonian plant but is found in the Carboniferous.This report from Peru expands our knowledge of its unusual biogeographic distribution (Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia,and Germany) that includes the southern temperate Paracas realm (Gondwana) and the Carboniferous tropics (Euramerican Realm). Stratigraphically Paulophyton is known from the late Tournaisian (Mississippian) to the middle of the Pennsylvanian.It is an uncommon but apparently widespread plant characterized by leafl ess, thin axes with small, terminal sporangia. It is found mostly as very small fragments, a fact that makes it easy to overlook. Paulophyton may be the representative of aplant group that has otherwise not yet been recognized in the Carboniferous.
We thank the leadership of the Reserva National de Paracas, the Institute Nacional de Recursos Naturales, and the Ministerio de Ambiente for permissions and support during our research at the Paracas site. We acknowledge partial support for this research by CONCYTEC to V.A., the National Science Foundation (EAR-8916826), and the University of Pennsylvania Research Foundation to H.W.P., and CAPES (Coordenacao de Aperfeicoamento de Pessoal de Nivel Superior, Process no. BEX 0461/03-2) and CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Pesquisa, Process no. PQ 309211/2013-1) to R.I. Also, we would like to thank the reviewers H.A. Carrizo and R. Rohn for their fruitful suggestions. R. Jones helped with the photography and D. Wang and B. Trenk assisted with the rendition of figures.
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Paracas, Paleontology