PERMIAN FLORA: MYSTERIES AND PARADOXES
by Sergei NAUGOLNYKH, Dr. Sc. (Geol. & Mineral.), RAS Geological Institute The Mazuevka locality, where different plant fossils can be found, of the early-Permian age (more precisely-of Kungurian, 273-269 mln years ago), was discovered several years ago, in 180 km to the south-east of the city of Perm, thanks to the studies of the large outcrop of sandstones and clayey shales on the left bank of the Sylva river between the village of Mazuevka and the Cherny Yar. Although specimens of ancient fossil plants from this outcrop appeared in paleobotanical collections even before, they originated from small localities and their number was insignificant. The recent, much more plentiful findings of fossil plants permitted to look at the origin of this locality under new viewpoint. FROM BIOSPHERE TO LITHOSPHERE At first we should talk about taphonomy, as it and its conceptual apparatus are especially valuable for paleobotanical studies* of the Permian plants. The fundamentals of this science as an independent discipline about regularities in the origin of localities of fossil organic remains were suggested in the 1940s by Ivan Efremov, Dr. Sc. (Biol.), famous Russian paleontologist and science-fiction writer. In his fundamental work Taphonomy and Geological Chronicle (1950), he analyzed in detail prerequisites for setting apart the taphonomy * See: S. Naugolnykh, "Seven Steps Into Paleozoic", Science in Russia, No. 5, 2005.--Ed. among geological and biological sciences, drew up a generalized typological scheme of land vertebrates' localities (and that is not surprising, as he was mostly dealing with studies of the Late Paleozoic and Mesozoic terrestrial tetrapods), introduced methodological principles for the reconstruction of their way of life and of the landscapes they inhabited. One of the key illustrations in the above-mentioned book is a diagram, expressively demonstrating the optionality of burials of ... Читать далее
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