The Gunnera gallery:
fossils

Images and an introduction to the plant family Gunneraceae

Plant parts

Biogeography

Fossils

'Gunneralikes'

 

Gunnera has a rich fossil record extending back 93 million years, into the Creataceous. This is mainly represented by finds of its distinctive pollen (Tricolpites reticulatus), which has been reported from North America, South America, Africa, India, Australia and New Zealand. The major review literature on this pollen is,

  • Jarzen, D. M. 1980. The occurrence of Gunnera pollen in the fossil record. Biotropica 12: 117–123.
  • Jarzen, D. M. & M. E. Dettmann. 1989. Taxonomic revision of Tricolpites reticulatus Cookson ex Couper, 1953 with notes on the biogeography of Gunnera L. Pollen & Spores 31: 97–112.

There are also preserved megafossils for the Late Creataceous of North America. These were excavated from the Meeteetse Formation in northern Wyoming and the Eagle Formation in Montana by Leo Hickey, Jason Hicks, Craig van Boskirk and Dorian Fuller in the 1990s. Full details remain to be published but some discussion in the context of paleobiogeography and the gunnera subgenera can be found in Fuller & Hickey (2005) [available as pdf here]

Subgenera

Biogeography

Fossils

Some literature