During the time of the dinosaurs, the first ever flower to appear on the evolutionary line was a hermaphrodite with organs which resembled petals, according to scientists.
The flower had male and female organs centered in the middle which were surrounded by tepals, which are multiple layers of petal resembling parts. The reconstruction of this ancient flower was done on the data of flower traits from 792 existing species, and the results are going against the assumption which was valid up until now, which said that the organs and tepals were arranged in a spiral.
Maria von Balthazar, a floral morphology expert at the University of Vienna, who took part in the research said: “The results are really exciting. This is the first time that we have a clear vision for the early evolution of flowers across all angiosperms.”
Although they have found out a lot of details about this ancient mother flower, it is still not known what color was it or what was its smell or size, but it is presumed to be very small. Scientists also believe that the plans on land have evolved from water plans about 470 million years ago.
When the first group of plans which had flowering plant and cone-bearing ones emerged, the dinosaurs, mammals or birds did not even exist yet. The oldest flowering plant fossil dates at about 140 million years ago right around the time the dinosaurs emerged.
Since that time, the mother flower has evolved into presumably more than 300,0000 species, while the flowering plants make up for about 90% of all plants on the planet.
The co-author Herve Sauquet of the Universite Paris-Sud in France told AFP said: “The flower grew (on) only one type of plant, the ancestral species of all living, flowering plants. Not many people have looked into the question of what kind of plant this was, but according to previous work it was probably a small tree or shrub.”
Although this is a remarkable discovery, there are still many unknowns about the ancestral flower so we can expect man more studies on this topic to emerge in the near future.