Paleonet: james_mickle at

Dieter Uhl paleouhl at
Fri Aug 31 08:42:32 GMT 2007

I agree with Jim that it is really nice to get some press for amber, fossil bees and fossil orchids despite minor inaccuracies. However, I wondered whether this is really the first unambiguous fossil of Orchidaceae as claimed by the authors in their original Nature paper.

I had the impression that Eoorchis miocaenica MEHL 1984  shows a  flower and fruit typical for the orchids (try the name in a google search to find some citations). This fossil comes from the Middle Miocene Oehningen limestone in SW-Germany and is of approximately the same age (or only slightly younger) than the  new Meliorchis caribea.  However, I am not a specialist for monocots or even orchids (neither fossil nor living) and as this taxon has been published in a german journal devoted to modern orchids (and also in german language :-( ) it may have been overlooked by most non-german speaking paleo-people. 

Nevertheless, does anybody out there know more about the acceptance of Eoorchis miocaenica as a fossil orchid within the (paleo-)botanical community? Or what arguments may point against the orchidaceous nature of Eoorchis miocaenica?

Best regards


> Mike,
> True, a bit inaccurate, but in any event, it is nice to get some press 
> for amber, fossil bees and fossil orchids despite minor inaccuracies 
> (although National Geographic usually gets it right).
> Jim

Dr. Dieter Uhl
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