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I found these lignified plant parts that sort of look like conifer cones from the Pliocene/Pleistocene Merced Formation along the Coast just south of San Francisco. Douglas Fir and Monterey Pine cones occur in the same formation. What are they? Could they be alder catkins? Top photo: cone is 1.5 cm high. Bottom photo: longest cone is 4 cm. Thanks, John @paleoflor
Boesse posted a topic in Partners in Paleontology - Member Contributions to ScienceHey all, I'm posting this in acknowledgment of Christopher Pirrone's donation - he is @oreodont but I'm not sure he posts here that much any more. Chris was generous enough to mail this specimen to NZ in 2014 while I was doing my Ph.D. so I could prepare and study it. I molded and casted the specimen for him. Sea otter fossils are as rare as hen's teeth. Enhydra sp. Merced Formation, middle Pleistocene (670-620 Ka) San Francisco, California, USA. Donated to University of California Museum of Paleontology, Berkeley, CA. This specimen was collected from a well-dated horizon in the Merced Formation and constitutes the earliest example of a true sea otter (Enhydra) in the Pacific basin, indicating that sea otters are a recent invader from the Arctic/North Atlantic. Here's the paper: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10914-016-9373-6