Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Molecular characterization of some enigmatic Lower Devonian fossils

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Geoffrey AbbottORCiD


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


The coalified remains of three extinct nonvascular Lower Devonian plants (Prototaxites Dawson, Pachytheca Hooker, and Parka Fleming) have been analysed using flash pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, FTIR, and C-13 solid-state NMR. The affinities of these fossils are unknown and their habitats remain conjectural. Host rack lithology and grain size correlate with the state of morphological and chemical preservation of Prototaxites. The Bash pyrolysates of well-preserved Prototaxites and Pachytheca were dominated by aromatic hydrocarbons and alkylphenols. Given their resistance to compression when compared with associated lignified vascular plant fossils, it is possible that Prototaxites and Pachytheca contained an extinct polyphenolic structural biomacromolecule that was a failed experiment during terrestrialization. Precise affinities for the enigmatic fossils Prototaxites, Pachytheca, and Parka are still to be confirmed, although Prototaxites and Pachytheca are chemically distinct from Parka. Copyright (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Abbott GD, Ewbank G, Edwards D, Wang GY

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta

Year: 1998

Volume: 62

Issue: 8

Pages: 1407-1418

Print publication date: 11/09/1998

ISSN (print): 0016-7037

ISSN (electronic): 1872-9533


DOI: 10.1016/S0016-7037(98)00078-7


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric