Quercky leaves

Tue Oct 27 12:34:00 EST 1992

About those alleged Quercus leaves reaching 23 cm in length...
Before talking to the press, I'd be real sure that the leaf came from 
an Oak tree in the first place. Take this as an excuse to make a field
visit. Check out the tree, and where its growing. If it turns out to be
an Oak, is it growing near water? If its roots are in the water table, AND
the leaves were shaded, AND the primordia that had produced them were
polyploid, that could account for additive size increases resulting in 
your mammoth. It could also be that the large leaves came from a sapling.
Leaves on very young trees, or root sprouts (which I'd be surprised to
see from Oak) tend to be much (2-3x) larger than leaves of mature trees.

Good luck, and congratulations on the upcoming press coverage!

      George Ellmoer
      Biology Dept.
      Tufts Univ.
      Medford, MA

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