The ultrastructure of angiosperm pollen from the lower Cenomanian of the Morondova Basin, Madagascar

Michael S. Zavada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Samples collected from Cretaceous sediments of the Morondova Basin, southwest Madagascar yielded a palynoflora composed of spores of ferns and fern allies, pollen of gymnosperms and angiosperms, and dinoflagellates. In addition, a diverse fauna of ammonites was recovered along with the microflora. The species of dinoflagellates and ammonites suggest an Early Cenomanian age. Ninety-two percent of the microflora is comprised of fern spores and gymnosperm pollen. Approximately twenty species of angiosperm pollen comprise 3.6% of the flora, a majority of which are monosulcate and disulcate, including Clavatipollenites, Retimonocolpites, and Liliaeidites. Single occurrences of tricolpates and tricolporates are also recorded. The low abundance of angiosperms, and the taxonomic position of the angiosperm pollen are more reminiscent of Lower Cretaceous palynofloras from the Barremian-Albian. The low abundance of angiosperms and high diversity relative to the ferns and gymnosperms suggest that angiosperms arrived on Madagascar by long distance dispersal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-32
Number of pages13
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Professor Robert G. Quivey of the University of Rochester’s Center for Oral Biology provided the bacterial samples as well as many helpful suggestions. Stimulating conversations with Thomas Foster and Gerwin Puppels are also gratefully acknowledged. Dahu Qi helped to assemble the Raman microscope with which the data were acquired. This work was funded in part by NSF Grant BES-0086797, part of the Biophotonics Partnership Initiative.


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