Dr. Jeffrey M. Osborn
Dean of the School of Science and Professor of Biology
The College of New Jersey
Osborn, J. M. and T. N. Taylor. 1989.
Structurally preserved sphenophytes from the Triassic of Antarctica: Vegetative remains of
Spaciinodum, gen. nov.American Journal of Botany 76: 1594-1601.
Sphenophyte remains of Early-Middle Triassic age are described from silicified peat collected in the Transantarctic
Mountains of Antarctica. The new sphenophyte, Spaciinodum collinsonii sp. nov., is represented by ribbed, jointed
stems with characteristic pith and carinal canals. Stems are relatively small, ranging from 1.8-3.0 mm in diameter,
lack secondary tissues, and are characterized by vallecular canals that are restricted to nodal regions. The
internodal vascular system consists of 12-18 collateral bundles which alternate between successive internodes.
A complete vascular ring is present in the nodal region and is surrounded by a continuous double endodermis.
Xylem is endarch and composed of elements ranging from annular to reticulate. The Antarctic sphenophyte is
compared with other Gondwana fossil articulates and extant Equisetum . Superficial stomata suggest affinities with
modern Equisetum subgenus Equisetum; some anatomical differences preclude assignment with living species.
Sphenophya, Equisetales, Antarctica, Triassic, Mesozoic