Earth History Research Center

Monolete | Trilete | Bisaccate | Monocolpate | Tricolpate | Monoporate | Triporate | Polyporate | Tricolporate

Fossil pollen and spores are among the most abundant remnants of past life. Because the pollen and spores are coated with a resistant waxy substance called "sporopollenin", they can be recovered in good condition from solid rock by appropriate treatment. Although these plant reproductive structures are small (the head of a pin could hold about 1000 average-sized grains) the unique patterns and designs on their surfaces allow them to be identified with a high degree of reliability to family, genus, and sometimes even to species.

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