Diversity and homologies of corystosperm seed-bearing structures from the Early Cretaceous of Mongolia

Gongle Shi*, Peter R. Crane, Patrick S. Herendeen, Niiden Ichinnorov, Masamichi Takahashi, Fabiany Herrera

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


New discoveries of corystosperm seed-bearing structures from the Tevshiin Govi locality, Mongolia, which is of Early Cretaceous (Aptian–Albian) age, show that the individual seed-bearing units of Umkomasia mongolica were borne in a cone, as also documented for the very similar reproductive units of Doylea tetrahedrasperma. New material from the Tevshiin Govi locality also documents two additional species of Umkomasia–U. corniculata sp. nov. and U. trilobata sp. nov.–that most likely grew in a different environment to U. mongolica. The occurrence of three different Umkomasia species in the Early Cretaceous of Mongolia, together with other records from the Early Cretaceous of the Northern Hemisphere, indicate that previous concepts of corystosperms, based mainly on material from the Southern Hemisphere, need to be revised. The consistent reproductive architecture of the seed-bearing structures in all three corystosperm species, with a bract subtending a variously modified axis bearing ovules, is similar to the situation in Ginkgo and conifers. These underappreciated architectural commonalities among the reproductive structures of major groups of seed plants are likely significant for a deeper understanding of seed plant evolution and require further exploration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)997-1029
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Systematic Palaeontology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 18 2019


  • Early Cretaceous
  • Mongolia
  • Umkomasia
  • corystosperms
  • seed
  • seed ferns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Palaeontology

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