Since when has the scent of flowers existed?

The aroma of flowers, since they existed on the planet, has attracted insects, dinosaurs and humans and persists to this day.

A study published in the journal Nature in 2018 by researcher George Poinar, from Oregon State University, in the United States, has revealed that fossil flowers in amber between 100 and 23 million years old had floral secretory tissues that produce fragrances. similar to those of modern flowers.

Poinar and his team analyzed a total of 10 fossil flowers, of which 7 were 100 million years old and 3 were 23 million years old. In all of them, the researchers found floral secretory tissues, such as nectaries, glandular trichomes, elaphores and osmophores, which are responsible for the production of fragrances.

Chemical compounds of flowers

The secretory tissues of fossil flowers contained chemical compounds that are common in modern flowers, such as linalool, eugenol, and geraniol. These compounds are responsible for the characteristic floral aromas of some plants, such as lavender, rose, and gardenia.

The findings of this study suggest that fragrance production in flowers is an ancient trait dating back at least 100 million years. This indicates that flowers already used fragrances to attract pollinators in the era of the dinosaurs.

The importance of this study lies in the fact that it provides information about the evolution of flowers and their relationship with pollinators. It also opens the possibility that in the future the aromas of prehistoric flowers can be recreated.

The most important findings of the study on the scent of flowers

  • Fossil flowers from 100 and 23 million years ago had floral secretory tissues that produce fragrances.
  • The secretory tissues of fossil flowers contained chemical compounds common in modern flowers.
  • These compounds are responsible for the characteristic floral aromas of some plants.
  • The findings suggest that fragrance production in flowers is an ancient trait dating back at least 100 million years.

This study is an important advance in our knowledge of the evolution of flowers and their relationship with pollinators.

Ecoportal.net

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