HN Gopher Feed (2017-08-02) - page 1 of 10
Scientists discovered the ancestor of all flowers
39 points by p4bl0https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms16047
jonchang - 58 minutes ago
One cautionary note with this study is that the methods employed
(ancestral character evolution) do not permit the inference of
trait values that fall outside of the observed range of extant
variation. Adding fossils can significantly improve our estimates
of the root state but unfortunately in this case there don't seem
to be many fossil flowers to parameterize the model.There's been
instances where using only data from extant species can mislead
with respect to the hypothesized ancestral state. For one example,
see figure 5 in
iaabtpbtpnn - 1 hours ago
It looks sort of like a magnolia, which makes sense since those are
rwmj - 1 hours ago
Isn't there some kind of egg/chicken (flower/insect) problem here?
What's the evolutionary benefit of developing a flower unless
insects also develop the eyesight and coordination necessary to
find nectar in the flower?
tabtab - 1 hours ago
Speculation is that it developed on an island where a specific
insect evolved in coordination with the flower: symbiotic. After
the flower got "delicious" enough, other insects joined in.
gus_massa - 1 hours ago
IANAB. It's weird that it's so complex. I was expecting something
very simple like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bougainvillea
that has only three petals that look like colored leaves.
Palomides - 1 hours ago
if you compare it to a gymnosperm (the dominant plants before
angiosperms), like, say, the structure of a pine cone but
unfolded/unwrapped a bit, the reconstruction in this paper may
seem more obvious.
empath75 - 1 hours ago
This isn't the 'first flower'. This is the first flower that is
the most recent common ancestor of all flowering plants. There
are a lot of more primitive flowers that lead up to this which
are also common ancestors, but not the most recent, as well as a
lot of dead ends that didn't leave any ancestors.