J Syst Evol ›› 2019, Vol. 57 ›› Issue (4): 339-360.DOI: 10.1111/jse.12483

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

How to rely on the unreliable: Examples from Mesozoic bryophytes of Transbaikalia

Yuriy S. Mamontov1,2, and Michael S. Ignatov2,3,*   

  1. 1Botanical Garden-Institute, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok 690024, Russia
    2Tsitsin Main Botanical Garden of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow 127276, Russia
    3Faculty of Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow 119234, Russia
  • Received:2018-09-03 Accepted:2019-01-13 Online:2019-03-13 Published:2019-07-01

Abstract: Three new fossil bryophytes are described from Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous deposits of the Transbaikalia region of Russia. The complex thalloid hepatic Khasurtythallus monosolenioides gen. et sp. nov. belongs to the Marchantiidae, but its combination of characters precludes unequivocal placement in any of the five orders of this subclass, representing most likely an extinct lineage. Paleaethallus squarrosus gen. et sp. nov. is a thalloid plant with scales similar to those of complex thalloid hepatics, although their arrangement and the overall plant structure has little in common with any extant hepatics. Dispersed moss capsules, three of which have attached calyptrae, are described as a form genus Kulindobryum gen. nov. Despite incomplete preservation, some rare characters indicate possible relationship to the genus Tayloria of the Splachnaceae, an extant family of mosses adapted to grow on animal dung, dead bodies and bones. Notably, Kulindobryum co‐occurs with bones of the small feathered dinosaurs Kulindadromeus, which also supports an affiliation of Kulindobryum with the Splachnaceae. The most common and best known Mesozoic moss for the region, the genus Bryokhutuliinia, is appraised for its systematic position and probable affinities with the Dicranales. A scoring approach is introduced for the comparative method of taxonomic placement of fossils with partial suites of morphological characters at the family or order level.

Key words: Buryatia, fossil, liverwort, Mesozoic, moss, Russia