Fossils of one of the oldest flowering plants on Earth date back to the early Cretaceous period, approximately 125 million to 130 million years ago. The ancient plant, Montsechia vidalii, lived underwater and is raising new questions about the planet's first flowering plants. [Read full story about the ancient plant fossils]

Aquatic plant

Montsechia vidalii had long shoots and small leaves and likely bloomed underwater. (Credit: David Dilcher, Indiana University)

Ancient blooms

The fossilized remains of Montsechia vidalii show long- and short-leaved forms of the flowering plant. (Credit: David Dilcher, Indiana University)

Fossilized remains

The intact fossil of the aquatic plant Montsechia vidalii that grew in freshwater lakes. (Credit: David Dilcher, Indiana University)

Underwater pollination

Researchers said the plant appears to have relied on water currents alone to move its pollen about. (Credit: David Dilcher, Indiana University)

Location and distribution

Montsechia vidalii fossils were found in what is now northeastern Spain. (Credit: David Dilcher, Indiana University)

Ancient find

The ancient plant is about 125 million to 130 million years old, and lived in the early Cretaceous period. (Credit: David Dilcher, Indiana University)

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