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Triassic Wood from the Gordon Valley, Central Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica

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Wood from an in situ permineralized forest from the Middle Triassic of Gordon Valley (Queen Alexandra Range, central Transantarctic Mountains) in Antarctica is described as a new taxon, Approximately 100 trunks in growth position are present at the site; they range from 13-61 cm in diameter and suggest that some of the trees were up to 20 m tall, Pits in the radial walls of the tracheids are of the abietinean type, Rays are uniseriate and 1-9 cells high; cross fields include one to two pits that appear to be simple, Axial parenchyma is absent. Pith and cortex are not preserved. The Antarctic wood is compared with existing fossil wood types from Antarctica and other parts of Gondwana. Although the fossil wood shares a number of characteristics with the Podocarpaceae, it differs from any existing genera and is described as a new taxon, Jeffersonioxylon gordonense.


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