The Mesozoic megafossil genus Linguifolium Arber 1917

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The plant megafossil genus Linguifolium Arber 1917 is chiefly known from the Middle and Upper Triassic of Gondwana. The range of Linguifolium extended beyond Gondwana by the Late Triassic, persisting there through the earliest Jurassic (Hettangian). The parent plants probably grew in a well-watered, canopied environment.

Diagnoses of the genus and four of its species - Linguifolium tenison-woodsii (Shirley 1898) Retallack 1980, L. waitakiense Bell in Bell et al. 1956, L. parvum Holmes & Anderson in Holmes et al. 2010, and L. steinmannii (Solms-Laubach 1899) Arber 1917 - are emended with particular reference to venation and leaf morphology; consequently, the stratigraphic ranges of the species have been more precisely defined.

Coalescent venation has previously been reported in some species of Linguifolium and is identified in new material described herein. Although the vast majority of specimens assigned to the genus are from the Upper Triassic, none shows coalescent venation. This character is entirely restricted to the Middle Triassic, in particular to two species: L. waitakiense and L. parvum.

Linguifolium tenison-woodsii is restricted to the Carnian-lowermost Norian of Australia and South Africa and is recorded here for the first time from the Tarong Basin (upper Carnian), Queensland. Confusion regarding assignment of specimens to this species from the Middle Jurassic of Queensland is resolved.

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