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A new species of “gigantic” capsular fruits of Vaccinioideae from the Miocene of Idaho

MacKenzie Smith and Steven R. Manchester

Plain Language Abstract

The blueberry subfamily (Vaccinioideae) of the heath family (Ericaceae) contains plant species with capsular fruits in addition to the well-known fleshy ones. Here, we present the first fossil fruit from the blueberry subfamily from North America. The fossil record of this group is known primarily from Europe. The fossil fruiting branch includes several seed capsules embedded in 15 million year old shale from northern Idaho. These capsules are twice the size of any modern species in the subfamily. Although this fossil has a new combination of features, the variability of characters in the blueberry subfamily makes it hard to assign to a modern genus, which prompts us to establish a new genus and species for the fossil, Juddicarpon benewahensis. Today, there are no species of blueberry subfamily plants with capsular fruit that grow in Idaho; this indicates a range shift and/or extinction.

Resumen en Español

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Traducción: Enrique Peñalver (Sociedad Española de Paleontología) or Diana Elizabeth Fernández

Résumé en Français

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Translator: Antoine Souron

Deutsche Zusammenfassung

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Translator: Eva Gebauer


in progress

Translator: Ashraf M.T. Elewa


In progress

Translator:  Krzysztof Stefaniak

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