Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version



Environmental Studies Undergraduate Student Thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2021.


Copyright Fields 2021


The topic of the Angiosperms relatively sudden appearance and diversification is a topic that has puzzled plenty of biologists and is even referred to as an “abominable mystery” by Charles Darwin. Up to date, many hypotheses have been proposed using various forms of data to form them. The available knowledge used to evaluate this topic has changed over the years, which has created some theme shifts. Some of the best supported of these hypotheses are more recent, but this does not make older articles unworthy of being evaluated, as they still often have relevant information. In the past, their appearance was part of the mystery with theories of their origins as abundant as the theories for their success. This study will search for which sort of factors were most likely to have contributed towards angiosperm general success. The objective of this study is to review the evidence supporting the many prevalent theories on causes for the success of angiosperms. To do this, multiple peer-reviewed articles surrounding the topic will be examined, making a note of which ones are backed up by the most complete data and applications towards the history and evolution of the angiosperms. Some of these factors are most commonly theorized to have been environmental, interactions with other species, or the unique adaptations and traits of the plants themselves.