Marattiopsis vodrazkae sp. nov. (Marattiaceae) from the Campanian of the Hidden Lake Formation, James Ross Island, Antarctica


A new fossil eusporangiate fern Marattiopsis vodrazkae J. Kvaček, sp. nov. has been recovered from the Hidden Lake Formation, the Campanian of James Ross Island, Antarctica. Its fertile and sterile pinnules are described and compared to the other species of the fossil genus  Marattiopsis Schimper and the living genera Marattia, Ptisana and Eupodium (Marattiaceae). In contrast to the other species of the genus Marattiopsis, M. vodrazkae is characterised by stalked synangia, a smaller number of sporangia per synangium, generally small sized pinnules, and the absence of venuli recurrentes. It shows a mosaic of characters present in the living Marattiaceae: it shares stalked sporangia with the genus Eupodium and some species of  Marattia and exhibits a suture (an abscission scar at pinnule bases), a character typical for the genus Ptisana. Additionally, M. vodrazkae provides important palaeoenvironmental signals for climate reconstructions, arguing for warm (paratropical to warm-temperate) and humid climatic conditions on the Antarctic Peninsula and adjacent volcanic islands during the Campanian.

Key words

Marattiaceae, Campanian, Cretaceous, James Ross Island, Antarctica