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Discuss Concepts Working in the field, you discover a fossil of a previously undescribed plant species. The specimen is small and may not be complete; the bits you have do not include any floral parts. What sorts of observations would you need in order to classify the fossil as a seedless vascular plant with reasonable accuracy? What evidence would you need in order to distinguish between a fossil lycophyte and a fern?

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Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781305389892

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Section
BuyFindarrow_forward

Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781305389892
Chapter 28, Problem 11TYK
Textbook Problem
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Discuss Concepts Working in the field, you discover a fossil of a previously undescribed plant species. The specimen is small and may not be complete; the bits you have do not include any floral parts. What sorts of observations would you need in order to classify the fossil as a seedless vascular plant with reasonable accuracy? What evidence would you need in order to distinguish between a fossil lycophyte and a fern?

Summary Introduction

To review:

The manner in which the unidentified plant fossil, found in the garden could be accurately determined as a seedless vascular plant and the evidence needed to distinguish lycophytes from fern.

Introduction:

The seedless vascular plants appeared on the earth about 200 million years ago (MYA). The seedless vascular plants reproduce sexually in which male sperm swims toward the female egg that is why they require damp areas to grow. Plant phyla like Lycophyta and monilophyta belongs to the seedless vascular plants. They share many features with modern day plants like woody stems, broad leaves, and true roots.

Explanation of Solution

The fossil of a seedless vascular plant appears very similar to the modern-day seed plants. They have true roots, woody stems, and broad leaves. Hence, based on the appearance, it is not possible to determine whether the fossil obtained in the garden belongs to the vascular seedless plants. To identify the plant accurately, a molecular approach is considered. The scientists have already sequenced the genome of Selaginella moellendorffii, which is a spike moss. The plant belongs to the Lycophyta phylum of the seedless vascular plants. The genome of the unidentified plant is compared with the already sequenced genome of lycophyta and its identity could be determined...

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