The prototype for all flower species we have today has been revealed, thanks to new technology.
The variations of flowers on earth are vast and widespread. Species of the same flowers are found all over the world, highlighting just how effective the pollination process is.
New data basing technology has given scientists a look at what the first flower might have looked like.
Nature Communications have published an article stating how the ancestral flower was “bisexual and radially symmetric, with more than two whorls of three separate perianth organs each.”
The results were collecting from 792 species, spanning 63 orders and 372 families of flowers. The picture of the ‘original’ flower was collated from 27 different traits from different flowers.
Interestingly, the result of all of the collected data looks like no flower we know today. The results noted “In spite of similarities with some extant flowers, there is no living species that shares this exact combination of characters,”
Experts believe that flowers as we know them begun to evolve around 140 to 250 million years ago. This picture allows us to see further into the floral past as there are no flower fossils over 130 million years old.
The ‘ancestral flower’ identified here is not the first flower that ever bloomed on earth, but the collective ancestor of all the flowers still remaining on earth today.
The paper also notes how the ‘original’ flower diversified into the many different species we have today.
The different methods used in creating the ‘original’ flower picture give the researchers a high level of confidence in the similarity.