paradox

Authors: Zhukun Wang

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Abstract: Certain pteridosperm tendril adhesive pads are depicted from the Cathaysian flora of the Early Permian Taiyuan Formation of Wuda Coal-field in Inner Mongolia China. Specimens contain elliptical or rounded pads situating at the swollen tip of pinnule lobe tendrils which are highly comparable to those of the extant Parthenocissus tricuspidata in the way that both of them are similar in form and function. Specifically, information we have gained suggested that pteridosperms from the Permian might have performed a similar type of physiological process by producing some chemical substances which assisted them in climbing. The Wuda pteridosperm likely to climbed on Cordaites or Sigillaria trees. Moreover, physical principles such as the pressure difference between inside and outside of the pads also seems to play an important role in assisting climbing. The new finding indicates that some pteridosperms in the Permian Cathaysian flora possessed climbing growth habit as well as those in the Late Carboniferous Euramerica Flora, where climbing/scrambling growth habit is well known in the coal swamp forests. This finding shows one of the several earliest climbing habits in Cathaysia Flora and thus remarkably promotes our understanding of the growth habit of pteridosperm and the change in plant community structure in that area.