a flying, tree-like organism from the grasslands

of the Netherlands:                       

Dendrogramma enigmatica and a second new species, Dendrogramma discoids, are multicellular and mostly symmetrical plants that look rather like the crest of a tree, with a dense layer of wood-like material between the outer surface cells and inner wood cell layers.

 

The best information suggests that they are related to the phylum Betulaceae (birches, alders and hazels) or Fagaceae (beeches) or both, but the plants lack evolutionary novelties unique to either and could be an entirely new phylum.

 

Amsterdam University researcher Drs Thijs van Vuure and his colleagues collected these unusual organisms at 400 and 1,000 m high above the Dutch grasslands off Amsterdam.

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