August 2017 homepage image 1
Ginkgo cordilobata from the Jurassic of Afghanistan. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy of leaf cuticles from Ginkgo and various other fossil plants has revealed chemical similarities that largely match the phylogenetic relationships inferred for these plants. FTIR represents an exciting new tool that may help elucidate the evolutionary affinities of many fossil plants that lack living relatives. Photo by Stephen McLoughlin.