Anatomically preserved vegetative Glossopteris leaves in silicified peat deposits of Late Permian age are described from the Bowen Basin of Queensland and the Sydney Basin of New South Wales, Australia. Glossopteris homevalensis Pigg et McLoughlin, sp. nov., a distinctive new species from the Fort Cooper Coal Measures, Bowen Basin, is characterized by mesarch vascular bundles with parenchymatous bundle sheaths, a prominent midrib, the occasional presence of secondary vascular tissues, a differentiated mesophyll, an ad- and abaxial hypodermis of isodiametriccuboidal cells with abundant fibers, epidermal cells with sinuous anticlinal margins and simple, slightly sunken stomata. Anatomically preserved leaves similar to G. schopfii Pigg, originally described from the central Transantarctic Mountains of Antarctica are also documented from the Bowen and Sydney basins. Those from the Burngrove Formation (Bowen Basin) differ slightly from Antarctic G. schopfii in size, and possess more numerous bundle sheath fibers and sometimes a more pronounced palisade mesophyll. Those from Katoomba (Sydney Basin) are also similar but may differ in some cuticular details. Also occurring in the Katoomba and Burngrove floras are leaves resembling G. skaarensis Pigg, a second species originally described from Antarctica. The presence of G. schopfii and cf. G. skaarensis in Australia as well as in the Transantarctic Mountains demonstrates their widespread distribution in eastern Gondwana. In contrast, the apparent restriction of G. homevalensis to a single locality in the Bowen Basin may reflect a distinct, more local distribution of a floristic assemblage unlike those typical of other Australian and Antartic floras.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics