by Charles Weber, MS


Angiosperms had to have existed before the early Cretaceous when they appeared fully formed [Sun]. To get an idea of the enormouss number of genera and species see this URL; . suspect they evolved since the Carboniferous on an island mini continent. Angiosperm (also called magnoliophyta) deciduous dicotyledon trees have had much more success in surviving in glaze ice areas than other types of trees because of less branch breakage and tree uprooting in winter time. They started to become established in North American subarctic regions in the Paleocene and were fully established before the Eocene closed. They probably descended largely from subtropical trees. I suspect that they may have evolved the precursor genes on a now submerged South Western Pacific mini continent, the Ontong Java Plateau, probably as early as the Permian, as a monsoon area adaptation. Their seeds were probably carried to the mainland on the feet of newly evolved water birds and in the crops of seed eating birds.

For definitions of botanical terms see this site, along with a discussion of angiosperm evolution.


Angiosperms are unique in having aromatic amino acids and hydrolyzable tannins [Friis,p3]. Their carpels enclose their ovules and pollen tube growth goes through sporophytic carpel tissue [Friis, p2]. Their double fertilization of the egg cell and the endostem support tissue cell is also unique [Friedman]. All the continents have been thoroughly explored and no large angiosperm assemblage has been found anywhere before the Cretaceous. Some scientists have proposed that angiosperms generated suddenly in early Cretaceous and evolved with extreme rapidity, perhaps as much as a thousand times as fast as others. Several hypotheses have been proposed for the descent of their forebears. Evolution in tropical mountains [Axelrod (1952), p34] is impossible. Such an enormous assemblage of monocotyledons and dicotyledons would have been absolutely certain to have left many obvious lowland fossils in view of their considerable success not much later. Every other plant group can be traced back at least to the Permian and most go back to the Devonian. Angiosperms must go back to the Devonian [Stewart pp 128,169,212,313,348], Molecular evidence shows the monocotyledons separating from the dicotyledons 320 million years ago in lower Carboniferous [Martin et al, 1989]. Molecular analysis of other major divergences are 200 million years or more or possibly to the Jurassic. There are leaves and flowers in Triassic Virginia [Cornet, 1993] and also pollen [Cornet, 1989] resembling angiosperms [Cornet, 1989] as well as aquatic fossils with fruit from late Jurassic in Central Asia [Sun, et al, 1998] [Sun, et al 2002] and Archaefructus from north east China [ ], so it is plausible that angiosperm prototypes survived in small numbers as late as the Triassic or later on the continents. Isocarbinorinol, which only angiosperms have, has been found in the Permian [Haike, et al 1995] so this possibility is reinforced. There is even a report of pollen resembling angiosperm pollen from the Jurassic North Sea. [Abbink]. This pollen of a water plant could conceivably be an early migrant. A tropical island that could field so many tropical families would have to be large. A string of offshore volcanic islands or even peaks of a mountain range would be off by at least two orders of magnitude.

The only unexplored areas that I know of is in the western Pacific. Elevation of the Ontong Java Plateau, which is the largest oceanic plateau, would create a fair amount of tropical land, the size of Alaska or a major part of Australia. Some of that area could have had monsoon climate that also can favor a deciduous habit. Seismic evidence indicates that this rise has continental characteristics with a crust over 35 km thick [Furomoto]. There is no evidence of flexure under the rise [Hussong] so the rise must go back to the very beginnings of earth history. If we drill through the basalt someday (not done to date [Kroenke] ) we may find coal or pollen underneath the basalt and thus possibly throw light on this. There has been fossil wood found in the basalt [Mahoney 2001] (the article containing this link is here, in which is also an extensive geological discussion). There also should be angiosperm pollen in mid Cretaceous sediments near the seamounts between the Ontong Java Plateau and Korea if this proposal is correct. The occurrence of sporomorphs, wood fragments, and plant cuticules at Site 802 and Site 463 give evidence for the existence of islands with dense vegetation during the Early Cretaceous in the western Pacific Ocean above the Ontong-Java (Larson). New Caledonia has many very primitive angiosperms [Carlquist p74]. Amborella tricopoda pollen from New Caledonia does not resemble angiosperm pollen. It is a pre-columellate type that precedes the Late Triassic Crinopolles angiosperm-like pollen in morphology. However, no angiosperm-like pollen has been reported from Gondwana during the Jurassic. The most primitive living angiosperm, Amborella, from New Caledonia does not produce pollen that can be called angiosperm-like (Sampson, 1993), meaning that its ancestors and close relatives could go unrecognized in the fossil palynological record. The restriction of most Triassic angiosperm-like fossils to North America, the presence of angiosperm-like pollen in the Early and Middle Jurassic of western Europe, and the presence of distinctive (i.e., diagnostic) angiosperm pollen in western Europe during the early Late Jurassic (Cornet and Habib, 1992), imply that angiosperms first evolved in Laurasia, or near there. See figures of Amborella tricopoda pollen in this site. [Sampson].

New Caledonia and Lord Howe Rise near New Zealand are possibilities as survival centers since they were probably connected together at one time based on similar creatures which cross oceans with difficulty [Paramonov 1963]. A string of off shore islands and seamounts as the mini continent sank to provide magma for the nearby sea mounts (the Ontong-Java plateau had shallow water in early Cretaceous [Nur, p. 3644] ) could have provided a holding area to save an already evolved flora from extinction. Indeed, some very primitive angiosperms have survived until modern times on New Caledonia and other Pacific Islands [Melville]. That no mammals or snakes live on New Caledonia is circumstantial evidence that it was not attached to the mainland recently [Carlquist, p74], and probably never was. That does not rule out the possibility that at some time in the past it furnished plants to Lord Howe Rise across narrow water gaps. Pollen has been discovered from the Permian, Triassic, and Jurassic on New Caledonia [Dejersey & Grantmackie]. None of this pollen resembles angiosperm pollen [Raine and de Jersey, private communication], so New Caledonia is virtually ruled out except as a center of survival. Long water gaps were not too likely possible since there were no birds then and no spore reproduction in angiosperms so primitive angiosperms could have been almost as poor as conifers are today at crossing oceans. However, the modern angiosperms are fair to excellent at jumping ocean gaps today [Carlquist p. 35- 38] so the islands near here could have contributed both to further evolution and conservation after seed eating or water birds arrived. That seed eating birds were present in early Cretaceous has always been plausible, but now the recent discovery of a seed eating fossil bird from then has made it certain [Zhoi]. There also have been discovered web footed aquatic birds in early Aptian of the early Cretaceous [You], which birds could have carried seeds stuck to their feet by mud. The first angiosperms to appear are thought to have been shade tolerant, small seeded, disturbed and wet habitat plants based on phylogenetic mapping of present day primitive relatives [Field]. At the same time angiosperms could have been unable to bridge a larger gap to the continents until early Cretaceous when the gaps narrowed because of the rise of sea mounts between the Ontong Java Plateau and Korea [Larson][Rohl] and efficient birds appeared. The earliest appearance of Asteropollis angiosperm occures in Mongolia and Transbaikalia, which are near Korea [Vakhramiev on p151] ]. The eudicots, which are the dominant angiosperms in the world today, were present in China in late Barremian 127 to 125 million years ago [Sun 2011].

The absence of mammals on all the islands just mentioned imply a separation from the mainland going back possibly to the Triassic or further. The fact that angiosperms lacked an efficient means of dispersal by mammals in the first half of the Cretaceous [Schuster, p52,64] is circumstantial evidence that they came from an island continent. Fruits and barbs are late in angiosperms. Of course it is possible that mammals were confined to cold regions, so this could be weak circumstantial evidence, for angiosperm plants were almost certainly tropical then.

Boughey believes that most primitive angiosperms must have been beetle pollinated, probably from Permian [Boughey]. If so, this is further evidence for evolution going back to the Permian at least. Insect pollination is a major advantage for plants because pollen is rich in nitrogen and, more importantly, because insect pollination permits very small populations of any species in any particular area. Thus even plants with low incidence can survive, evolve, and manage to make it to numerous cul de sacs. Thus the already fairly large area of the Ontong Java Plateau for evolution would be greatly augmented.

It must seem obvious that the above discussion is at odds with some of current plate tectonic theory. However, shallow earthquakes under even the longest ridge-ridge transform faults and numerous other anomalies [Weber 1981] make it seem to me that these islands were always where they are now, for continents and plateaus with deep roots pushed along by thinner oceanic plates, all of the plates going in different random directions, is impossible. That deciduous evolution was at least partly subtropical in the Cretaceous, however, is almost certain. The first angiosperm plants were herbaceous, insect pollinated, [Stewart p. 370], small, streamside, arid habitat, shrubs, [Hickey and Doyle] Seeds were possibly carried in the crops and on the feet of waterfowl. Conifers dominated the well drained uplands in early Cretaceous [Retallack]. Monocotyledons came much later to the continents followed by wind pollination [Stewart p. 373]. Further migrations had all the earmarks of intermittent arrivals. It was not until late in the Cretaceous that angiosperms moved toward the poles [Crane and Lidgard, 1989]; [Parish and Spicer, 1988] aided by a warming trend, probably by evolution of subtropical genera on the fringes. The Cretaceous was a rather warm time [Jenkyns, et al, 2004]. Angiosperms came to Antarctica in the Turonian to early Campanian of the mid Cretaceous [Hayes].

The colonization of the Northern Hemisphere by the hardwoods may have been considerably aided by the presence of Neotermes. This is a termite genus which was likely to have been able to eat live wood as early as the lower Cretaceous [Weber]. An ability to girdle taproots may have assisted it then and does today. There were no woodpeckers or Ponerine ants in monsoon areas, or other effective predators. Even if there had been woodpeckers, they would not have touched Neotermes if they had been like modern woodpeckers that do not [Kalshoven]. Strong wood with living tissue on the perimeter would have pre adapted the above trees to a trend that was already visible in other early Cretaceous trees. Neotermes does not kill a hardwood unless the hardwood is also hard hit by drought or disease [Hill]. The ability of Neotermes to migrate on floating logs makes its early genesis less than certain, but its primitiveness [Snyder] makes it plausible. The later rise of the angiosperms to 85% of the fossil species [Axelrod (1966)] {but not necessarily 85% of the area covered} may have been assisted by the appearance of Coptotermes in the rain forest, which insect also uses live wood, toward the end of the Cretaceous in the Northern Hemisphere tropics. Most termite species can utilize susceptible live wood, but the appearance of angiosperms came almost certainly at least 50 million years after termites appeared as fossils so the vegetation must surely have evolved some chemical defenses against termites or their protozoa by the time angiosperms appeared as fossils. It is possible that Coptotermes ability to secrete its own cellulase [Hogan] may make Coptotermes able to utilize trees protected only by poisons against microorganisms. Its ability to ignore the Nasutitermes alarm pheromone secreted by pine trees (alpha & Beta pinenes) which prevent Nasutitermes from living under pine trees [Lee p7] must have assisted Neotermes in clearing away pine trees at least when Nasutitermes reached North America, since Nasutitermes probably evolved during the Cretaceous in South America and presumably Nasutitermes would have competed indirectly somewhat otherwise. Coptotermes presence by late Cretaceous is backed by present continental distribution but not by fossils yet. Its superior defense, utilizing a poisonous sticky secretion, must surely have made it successful even in rain forests, since there were probably no Dorylene ants in mid Cretaceous in the Northern Hemisphere (there is a good chance they were already in South America), and Ponerine ants probably did not then hunt in packs based on present day distribution.

Glaze ice must have existed in the late Cretaceous because there was deciduous vegetation in northwestern North America [Wolfe and Upchurch 1986]. Also rapid changes in sea level even before that time imply the presence of glaciers somewhere [Stoll].

Apparently the Carboniferous or Permian monsoon genes which preadapted angiosperms to glaze ice forests were already in place. Numerous tropical and subtropical genera moved into a climate zone, which today is centered in Northern Illinois during the Tertiary starting in late Cretaceous [Spicer] by displacing deciduous Metasequoia [Wolfe 1987 p219] and other deciduous conifers [Wolfe 1986]. The subtropical hardwood genera predominated, so that evergreen maples {Acer}, subtropical deciduous oaks {Quercus}, beeches {Fagus}, Sycamores {Platanus}, and subtropical maples {Acer}, as well as trees whose climate forebears were not specified by Axelrod such as hickories {Carya}, chestnuts {Castanea}, and elms {Ulmus} took over the canopy in the fertile heart of the glaze ice zone [Axelrod, 1966], leaving tropical and other subtropical genera to fill in the chinks, the under story, sandy or acid soils, the periphery, the disturbed areas, and the swamps. Almost all of the above hardwoods were or became deciduous.

There must have been a zone of glaze ice in Alaska if this hypothesis is valid because several species of southern Appalachian plants are also known in Asia [Braun pp515-517, 460]. Therefore it is conceivable that at least a narrow band of glaze ice existed across the Bering Straits bridge Pliocene or earlier. Presence of deciduous trees in high latitudes is plausible because deciduous trees were not displaced far south by the glaciers except for a narrow band in front [Braun p517]. The Paleocene vegetation at 66 degrees north was largely deciduous [Wolfe 1987], which lends plausibility to the above statement. If this hypothesis is valid, it explains why the extravagant deciduous trees which lose all their leaves annually, hang their soft edible leaves out within easy reach of sucking and other insects and vertebrates, and show extreme difficulty when competing with pines and sequoias over vast cool areas, nevertheless make almost monolithic stands in a gerrymandered area which cuts across isopleths of humidity, temperature, rainfall, light duration, light angular incidence, soil, fire, and nutrient status in temperate regions with only glaze ice as a common factor.

REFERENCES are below


Effects of insects on ancient soils

Permian marine phosphorus deposition as caused by amphibians, especially dragonflies

Cretaceous marine phosphorus as caused by runway building termites, or to the effect of runway builders and incompetent ants on the phosphorus of Cretaceous soil phosphorus on vertebrate bones and teeth especially dinosaurs.

For more details of the termite phosphorus effect see the termites' affect on soil across the Cretaceous and Paleocene and a discussion of modern termites’ affects on soils.

For a hypothesis which explains loss of silica from tropical soils by the alkaline gut of termites see; “Did the alkaline gut of termites cause laterization of soils?

For a discussion of theories of angiosperm evolution, see this site.

For those interested in dragonflies try IORI

For an electronic journal on paleontology see Palaeontologia Electronica at Paleonet

and See this site about insects

The Canyons of Mars as Erosion by Rivers of Silicone Dust
---- For a hypothesis that explains the large volcanoes of Mars and the bulges associated with them see this site. They are proposed as the disruption from the antipode (opposite side of a sphere) of a huge meteorite or comet impact.
---- Cause of Indian Decca and other large lava flows. Did disruption at the antipode (opposite side of a sphere) of a meteorite or comet impact cause the Decca (or Deccan) lava flows at the Cretaceous close and other large lava flows?
---- The earth’s ocean trenches probably formed by cold ocean bottom water creating a deep crack from thermal contraction, which then further contracted the rocks beneath the trench.
---- The so called mid ocean ridge are certainly thin plates sliding out over previous ocean sediments because of shallow earth quakes and other evidence.

---- Climate warming as caused by denudation of soil and an idea for augmenting ground water.

For a hypothesis about human female evolution see this URL.


---- You may obtain a book about potassium nutrition at this site, along with the table of contents and first chapter. It discusses how food processing, diuretics, diarrhea, enemas, laxatives, corticosteroids, poisons, and disease states cause a deficiency and how potassium will cure heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and hypertension. It also discusses procedures to cope with too high a blood potassium and abnormal potassium in diabetes.

---- Read here about the dangerous interaction between potassium and thiamin regarding heart disease.
---- The effect of copper nutrition on slipped discs, aneurysms, emphysema, gray hair, anemia, and hemorrhoids is discussed here.
---- Some suggestions for ameliorating chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.
---- There is an an article discussing cashew nuts to cure a tooth abscess that might prove useful.
---- There is also an article which proposes some speculation about the cause from capsaicin and amelioration of diabetes.
----There is a site that contains reviews of natural remedies for many diseases .
----Fluoride in city water will cause fluorosis discoloration of teeth, weakened bones, damage to the kidneys and immune system, damage to the thyroid, bone cancer, and, worst of all, damage to the nerves resembling Alzheimer’s disease.

For a procedure that discusses tetrathiomolybdate for removing copper and thus preventing further solid cancer growth and Hodgkin’s, see this site. This might buy some time for this and possibly other cancers until you can persuade a doctor to try tumor necrosis factor or interferon or an opioid antagonist drug called Naltrexone (Naltrexone in the large 50mg size, originally manufactured by DuPont under the brand name ReVia, is now sold by Mallinckrodt as Depade and by Barr Laboratories under the generic name naltrexone) that blocks some endorphin receptors. Said blockage is thought to cause the body to temporarily secrete more endorphins, especially after midnight at night. These endorphins are thought to stimulate the immune system, and in particular to stimulate the TH-1 or type 1 antiviral response by decreased interleukin-4 and with increased gamma interferon and interleukin-2 and a simultaneous decrease of type 2 anti bacterial response [Sacerdote]. It appears to be especially effective for minimizing symptoms and retarding progression of multiple sclerosis (MS) (also see these sites hereand here. A few doctors have had encouraging results in Crohn's Disease (prompting Penn State College of Medicine to plan 4mth Study of Crohn's Disease & LDN and) CFIDS, and even to some extent in cancer. Low doses of Naltrexone (LDN), 1.5 to 4.5 milligrams, at bedtime is used (timing is important, and it is important not to buy slow release forms). It is said to have no known bad side effects at those doses other than stimulate the TH-1 or type 1 antiviral response by decreased interleukin-4 and with increased gamma interferon and interleukin-2 and a simultaneous decrease of type 2 anti bacterial response [Sacerdote]. There is insomnia the first week or two in some. I think some clinical studies on Naltrexone are in order, and it should not be a prescription drug. Though side effects appear unlikely, it is not proven over longer periods. If you try it (it is a prescription medicine in the USA), it seems likely that you should discontinue if you get a bacterial infection in view of its inhibition of antibacterial response.

Olive leaf extract has shown clinical evidence of effectiveness against a wide range of viruses, including AIDS [Bihari], herpes, and cold viruses. It sometimes produces a Herxheimer or pathogen die off symptoms (from effectiveness against bacteria?). There is evidence that it is synergistic (reinforce each other) with Naltrexone. There have been a few case histories of improvement in what were probably arthritis patients and CFIDS patients. The active ingredient is said to be oleuropein or enolate. There has been very little follow up research done on it.

Also it has been found that curcumin in turmeric or curry powder will inhibit several forms of cancer, including melanoma. People who live in India where these spices are eaten, have one tenth the cancer elsewhere.
See this site for evidence of a correlation between magnesium deficiency and cancer. Here is an article with anecdotal evidence for pressurized oxygen, zinc, vitamin B6, and vitamin C after head injuries. They also claim a fair percentage of prison inmates from psychiatric disorders after head injuries. It has been found that supplements of the amino acid, taurine, will restore the abnormal electrocardiogram present during a potassium deficiency by an unknown mechanism. This information has been used in several case histories by George Eby to control a long standing type of cardiac arrhythmia called pre atrial contractions (PACs), a benign but irritating and nerve racking heart problem, with 2.5 grams of taurine with each meal.

A site is available which shows. foods which are high in one nutrient and low in another (including calories). This last site should be especially useful for a quick list of foods to consider first, or for those who must restrict another nutrient because of a genetic difficulty with absorption or utilization

The very extensive USDA Handbook #8 may be seen here. To access the information you must press "enter" to search, and then divide Kcal into milligrams of potassium. This last table is very comprehensive, is used in search mode, and even lists the amino acids. There are also links in it to PDF types of printouts from the table for individual nutrients available here Just click on the “A” or “W” button for the nutrient you desire. A table that has already done the potassium calculation is here in descending concentration or in alphabetical order.

The health of people in the USA is abysmal , and a major part of it is poor nutrition. As the 12th century physician, trying to cure by diet before he administers drugs, said; “No illness that can be treated by diet should be treated by any other means" or as Hippocrates expressed it in 460 - 377BC; "If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health." It would seem that a healthy life style has been known for a long time. It is my belief that an unprocessed, unfrozen, not canned, high in vegetables diet would keep a large majority of people reasonably healthy and without the need for fad diets. 80% of Americans do not eat adequate vegetables, but even though 72% of Americans take vitamin or mineral supplements daily or sometimes [Sardi p148], their health is atrocious, especially old people..

I would suggest that a partial solution to the problem of poor potassium nutrition would be to place a tax on all food that has had potassium removed by food processors and completely fund all Medicare and workman’s compensation for injuries and disease that relate to rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, and high blood pressure. This would also take the onerous tax burden now incurred for them and place it on the shoulders of those who cause the problem. To get such a law passed it will probably be necessary to convene a constitutional convention to reverse the Supreme Court ruling that corporations are individuals and can make unlimited political donations and ads.

There is a free browser called Firefox, which is said to be less susceptible to viruses or crashes, has many interesting features, imports information from Iexplore while leaving Iexplore intact. You can also install their emailer. A feature that lists all the URLs on a viewed site can be useful when working on your own site.

There is a tool bar by Google that enables you to search the internet from the page viewed, mark desired words, search the site, give page rank, etc.

There is a free program available which tells on your site what web site accessed you, which search engine, statistics about which country, statistics of search engine access, keywords used and their frequency. It can be very useful.


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This article updated April 2014

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