Fossil ceratophyllum (Ceratophyllaceae) from the Tertiary of North America

P. S. Herendeen, D. H. Les, D. L. Dilcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Fossil fruits and a vegetative axis assignable to the extant genus Ceratophyllum are described from four North American Tertiary localities. Fossil fruits assignable to the extant species C. muricatum and C. echinatum are reported from the Eocene Green River and Claiborne formations, and the Miocene Esmerelda Formation, respectively. An extinct species, C. furcatispinum, is described from the Paleocene Fort Union Formation and represents the oldest published report of Ceratophyllum in the fossil record. The existence of extant angiosperm species in the Eocene is very unusual and may be attributable in this case to slow evolutionary rates and unusual evolutionary properties associated with hydrophily in the genus Ceratophyllum. -Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-16
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Botany
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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