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'New' species of flower is discovered in a shard of amber in Myanmar 100 MILLION years after it blossomed :

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A rare flower is finally getting its moment in the sun, almost 100 million years after it blossomed.

Researchers at Oregon State University have identified a new species of angiosperm, or flowering plant, from the Cretaceous Period that was preserved in a shard of amber found in what is now Myanmar.

Dubbed Valviloculus pleristaminis, it belongs to the laurel family and is related to the blackheart sassafras found in Australia. 

Myanmar and Australia are divided by more more than 4,000 miles of ocean but, at the time this flower was encased in resin, they were part of a supercontinent known as Gondwanaland.

The discovery of V. pleristaminis suggests the continental plate it was on separated from Gondwanaland much later than previously theorized.

- Valviloculus pleristaminis is distantly related to Australia's blackheart sassafras

- In the Cretaceous Period, the flower was trapped in resin from an extinct tree

- It's only about 2 millimeters, but has 50 stamens arranged in a beautiful spiral

- The flower shifted from an ancient supercontinent to modern Myanmar, some 4000 miles away 

'This isn't quite a Christmas flower but it is a beauty, especially considering it was part of a forest that existed almost 100 million years ago,' said George Poinar Jr., a paleontologist with OSU's Department of Integrative Biology.

'The male flower is tiny, about 2 millimeters across, but it has some 50 stamens arranged like a spiral, with anthers pointing toward the sky.'

The stamen is the part of the male flower that produces pollen, while the anther is the stamen's pollen-producing head.

'Despite being so small, the detail still remaining is amazing,' said Poinar, author of a report on the discovery in the Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas.