Plant macrofossil remains of Becklesia (Seward) Watson and Cusack, a rare genus of extinct cycad, have been known for over a century from Great Britain and Libya. Historically the genus was poorly characterised leading to many fossil cycads that resembled Becklesia being placed in other genera including Cycadites and Paracycas. We describe here a new species, B. maulnyi sp. nov., from an exceptionally complete cycad specimen housed for two hundred years in the collections of the Musée Vert of Le Mans. The specimen comprises the apex of a stem bearing petiolate and pinnate leaves with thin and widely separated leaflets. Leaflets possess two prominent abaxial stomatal grooves that are characteristic of the genus Becklesia. We reassign three other French cycad fossils previously described under different generic names to Becklesia. Finally, we briefly discuss the geographical and stratigraphical implications of the genus and also consider presence of entire cycads in the fossil record.
- Jurassique supérieur
- NO France