Largest Flower Trapped in Amber Ever Discovered by Scientists
Oldest Amber-Trapped Flower Reclassified After Discovery of New Species
Two researchers have discovered that the oldest amber-trapped flower ever-found, the Stewartia kowalewski, is actually a different species than originally thought.
Published in Scientific Reports, Eva-Maria Sdowski and Christa-Charlotte Hofmann examined the nearly 40-million-year-old specimen, which had sat in the Berlin Museum of Natural History for more than 100 years.
The flower, measuring 28 millimeters in diameter, was surprisingly well-preserved, providing enough evidence to classified it as a Symplocos genus – a type of Asian flower – rather than a member of the Stewartia genus.
The experts postulate that the reclassification could help determine the climate and vegetation diversity of northern Europe more than 30 million years ago.
Paleobotanist Regan Dunn, who was not involved in the research, believes that the discovery “allows us to better understand the extent to which our species is impacting the planet.”