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The Middle Eocene Allenby Formation.


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#21 Auspex

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 08:33 AM

So many leaves, so little time...
Working-in the fundamentals of keying-out leaves is a great idea! Another excellent addition to the Forum's content. (Not to mention the sheer beauty of these fossils).

"There has been an alarming increase in the number of things I know nothing about."
-Ashleigh Ellwood Brilliant


#22 palaeopix

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 02:01 PM

Installment Four (part two): Unlobed leaves with toothed margins.


So far to date, most of the leaves that I have collected, from the Allenby Formation, fall into this category. As with their smooth margined counterparts, many toothed margined leaves defy identification (by me at least). I'll start by showing some specimens I was able to identify!



First are two photos of Alnus parvifolia. These small leaves are fairly common at some sites. I'd like to thank Wrangellian (Eric) for this ID.
Attached File  DGBP_0276.jpg   163.3KB   4 downloadsAttached File  DGBP_0277.jpg   205.74KB   5 downloads Alnus parvifolia.
The first specimen is 22mm in length and the second is 27mm in length.


The next two photos are of the palmate leaf Cercidiphyllum sp. Specimens of Cercidiphyllum sp. are reasonably common at most sites around Princeton.
Attached File  DGBP_0186.jpg   229.91KB   2 downloads Cercidiphyllum sp. This specimen is 53mm across.
Attached File  DGBP_0278.jpg   189.02KB   5 downloads Cercidiphyllum sp. This specimen is 45mm across.

Next is what I suspect is Rhus sp. Specimens of Rhus are fairly common but usually incomplete.
Attached File  DGBP_0270.jpg   207.24KB   5 downloads
Rhus sp. This specimen is 72mm in length.


Next is what I think is Betula leopoldae.
Attached File  DGBP_0273.jpg   152.17KB   9 downloads Betula leopoldae. This specimen is 62mm in length.


Finally, I'd like to show some leaves I was unable to identify. If you have any suggestions I'd be happy to hear from you.

Attached File  DGBP_0187.jpg   185.49KB   5 downloads This specimen is 100mm in length.
Attached File  DGBP_0275.jpg   177.85KB   5 downloads This specimen is 29mm in length.
Attached File  DGBP_0197.jpg   196.98KB   12 downloads This specimen is 54mm in length.


Again, these specimens only represent what I have found, so far, in the Allenby Formation around Princeton (BC). There are many more genera out there!


The next installment will cover lobed leaves and Ginkgos.

Edited by palaeopix, 27 January 2011 - 03:27 PM.


#23 palaeopix

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 04:47 PM

Installment Four (part three): lobed leaves and Ginkgos.

Some of the most spectacular and desirable leaves found in the Allenby Formation belong to this group. By far the most desirable is Ginkgo dissecta! The next series of photos show three Ginkgo dissecta from the Princeton area.
Attached File  DGBP_0069.jpg   216.52KB   2 downloadsAttached File  DGBP_0184.jpg   250.4KB   3 downloadsAttached File  DGBP_0244.jpg   291.02KB   3 downloads Ginkgo dissecta.
From left to right the specimens are: 90mm in height, 45mm across and 30mm across.


Another species of Ginkgo is also found at sites around Princeton, but they are not as common as Ginkgo dissecta. The following photo below shows an incomplete example of Ginkgo biloba.
Attached File  DGBP_0279.jpg   224.31KB   4 downloads Ginkgo biloba. This specimen is 45mm across.


Next is a nice, though incomplete, specimen of Sassafras sp.
Attached File  DGBP_0196.jpg   218.8KB   6 downloads Sassafras sp. This specimen is 45mm in height.
There is another morphotype of Sassafras found in the Allenby Formation that has unlobed leaves, but I'm not certain whether they belong to the same species.


The next photo is of another desirable leaf. The specimen looks like Acer sp. but is in fact Macginitiea sp.
Attached File  DGBP_0133.jpg   163.55KB   11 downloads Macginitiea sp. The specimen is 90mm in height.

So why do I think this is Macginitiea sp. and not Acer sp.? Well, at first I thought it was Acer sp. but after comparing the vein patterns in both, I came to the conclusion that it was Macginitiea sp. On leaves of Acer sp., the secondary veins all originate at the same point near the base of the leaf, similar to the condition in Sassafras in the photo above. In contrast, some secondary veins on leaves of Macginitiea sp. branch off the mid-vein, as seen in the photo above.


The next set of two photos show specimens of Comptonia sp. which are fairly common in the Allenby Formation. Specimens of Comptonia are easily recognized by their fern-like leaves.
Attached File  DGBP_0188.jpg   208.62KB   3 downloadsAttached File  DGBP_0189.jpg   200.83KB   6 downloads Comptonia sp.
The first specimen, which is still attached to a branch, is 95mm in length while the second specimen is 58mm in length.


And finally, another somewhat fern-like specimen. I've not seen anything like it before and have no idea what it might be.
Attached File  _MG_0001-Edit.jpg   155.57KB   5 downloads This specimen is 41mm in length.


So that wraps up the leaves!


The next installment will be in two parts, as I have too many photos for one post, and will cover flowers, fruits and seeds.

Edited by palaeopix, 23 January 2011 - 04:52 PM.


#24 FossilDAWG

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 07:00 AM

Great topic, and great fossils, Dan! Are you going to include the fish, insects, etc as well? Perhaps when you are done, if I have anything that you haven't already posted (not that that is likely) I could add them in?

Don

#25 Ludwigia

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 01:22 PM

WOW! I've overseen this thread up til now. Great stuff! Just registering here for the next installment!! ;)

Best wishes, Roger

Greetings from the Lake of Constance. Roger


#26 palaeopix

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 02:53 PM

Great topic, and great fossils, Dan! Are you going to include the fish, insects, etc as well? Perhaps when you are done, if I have anything that you haven't already posted (not that that is likely) I could add them in?

Don


I will be including fish and insects as well!

It would be awesome if you showed us some of your Allenby material.

Dan

#27 palaeopix

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 06:26 PM

Installment Four (part 4a): Flowers and Fruits.


There are several types of flowers preserved in the Allenby Formation, some more common than others. For the sake of simplicity, what we generally call flowers should be referred to as either simple or composite (technically an infloresecnce: http://en.wikipedia....i/Inflorescence). Composite flowers, or more correctly inflorescences, are made up of many flowers. Having said that, I will refer to simple flowers as flowers and composite flowers as inflorescences. I hope that wasn't unnecessarily confusing.

By far the most common flower found in the Allenby Formation is Florissantia quilchenensis. Specimens of Florissantia are very desirable (as are all fossil flowers) and finding one is always a rush! Here is a photo of a large specimen from the Princeton area.
Attached File  DGBP_0107.jpg   337.76KB   5 downloads Florissantia quilchenensis. This specimen is considered large, measuring 45mm across.


Next is the much rarer flower Pistillipollianthus wilsoni. The photo below is the only confirmed specimen of Pistillipollianthus that resides in my collection.
Attached File  DGBP_0246.jpg   356.03KB   2 downloads Pistillipollianthus wilsoni. This specimen is 14mm across.
As you can see by the photo
Pistillipollianthus is identified by its six sepals.


Next I'd like to show some inflorescences and some infructescences. An infructescence is the fruiting body that is produced by an inflorescence.

The identification of the specimen in the first photo is uncertain. I've seen it referred to as a "plantaceous pistillate inflorescence" so that's what I'll call it here. Elsewhere on the forum I have referred to this specimen as Macginitiea, but that name is incorrect and should have been Macginicarpa! I no longer think this is Macginicarpa and favor the more general name
"plantaceous pistillate inflorescence".
Attached File  DGBP_0274.jpg   162.59KB   9 downloads "plantaceous pistillate inflorescence" The globular inflorescence is 13mm across.
I guess there is a chance that this is actually Macginicarpa sp., but I'll wait until I can confirm that!


The next photo shows two specimens (one complete and the other partial) of Macginicarpa sp., which are infructescences of Macginitiea.
Attached File  DGBP_0285.jpg   194.77KB   10 downloads
Macginicarpa sp. The complete specimen measures 20mm across.


Next is a spectacularly preserved little specimen I collected in 1999. The specimen is preserved on a piece of paper shale only one millimeter thick! Unfortunately, I dropped the specimen on the floor and broke it into many bits. Fortunately, the specimen resided on the three largest pieces which I have recombined in Photoshop (if you look closely enough you may see where the original breaks were)!

I do not know the identification of this particular specimen, but it has some interesting infructescences.
Attached File  DGBP_0284.jpg   122.64KB   26 downloads This specimen is 45mm in length.
Note the dark spots in the surrounding matrix which resemble the spots found in the infructescences. These spots are found on many slabs of matrix from the Allenby Formation.


Next is a specimen of Alnus sp. The cones in this specimen are also considered infructescences.
Attached File  DGBP_0259.jpg   208.4KB   6 downloads Alnus sp. The complete cone on the right side of the specimen is 10mm in length.


And finally, here are two photos of specimens that may or may not be parts of flowers.
Attached File  DGBP_0286.jpg   361.25KB   2 downloads This specimen is 6mm in length. It may be part of a flower.
Attached File  DGBP_0287.jpg   190.98KB   5 downloads This specimen is 9mm (the scale-like part). I think this may be an incomplete specimen of an inflorescence.


The second part of this installment will include some seed pods and seeds form the Allenby Formation.

Edited by palaeopix, 26 January 2011 - 12:00 AM.


#28 piranha

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 06:44 PM

Delightful Dan, your fabulous fossils are matched only by your phenomenal photography! B)

And speaking of amazing alliterative allusions ... interesting infructescences is incomparable!

Ingenious! I Insist! :P

#29 palaeopix

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 07:00 PM

Installment Four (part 4b): Seed pods and seeds.


In this installment I'd like to show some seed pods and seeds found in the Allenby Formation around Princeton.

At first glance the next two photos appear to be flowers, but in fact they are flower-like seed pods from Porana sp. Specimens of Porana are fairly common at certain sites.
Attached File  DGBP_0176.jpg   315.72KB   2 downloadsAttached File  DGBP_0135.jpg   225.58KB   4 downloads
The first specimen is 24mm across while the double specimen is 34mm across.


Next is a specimen of an Acer wehri samara.
Attached File  DGBP_0151.jpg   207.83KB   6 downloads Acer wehri. This specimen is 22mm in length.


Next is a photo of a Dipteronia browni samara.
Attached File  DGBP_0134.jpg   283.65KB   2 downloads Dipteronia browni. This specimen is 17mm across.


Next is a photo of a specimen of the very common seed from Palaeocarpinus stonebergae. This specimen is by far the largest I've found!
Attached File  DGBP_0155.jpg   319.52KB   8 downloads
Palaeocarpinus stonebergae. This specimen is 11mm across.


Next are two photos of what I believe are the fruits of Joffrea sp.
Attached File  DGBP_0290.jpg   219.45KB   6 downloads
Joffrea sp. The larger specimen is15mm in length.
Thanks to FossilDAWG (Don) for the ID.


And to finish off this section, here are two photos of more seeds from the Allenby Formation. I do not know the IDs of either specimen!
Attached File  DGBP_0289.jpg   245.27KB   2 downloads
This specimen is11mm in length. Note; The shadow above the seed is not the pedicle!
Attached File  DGBP_0288.jpg   215.99KB   3 downloads This specimen is13mm in length.


Alright, I thought I'd be able to finish this off in two parts, but I have three more specimens to show so they will be in the next post!

Edited by palaeopix, 27 January 2011 - 06:41 PM.


#30 palaeopix

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 07:10 PM

Installment Four (part 4c): Other plant structures.

OK, I promise this is the last installment about plants.


The following photographs are of specimens that show other plant structures, namely buds and spines. I do not know the identification of any of the specimens.
Attached File  DGBP_0281.jpg   211.14KB   3 downloads This specimen is 40mm in length.
Attached File  DGBP_0283.jpg   181.45KB   2 downloads This specimen is 45mm in length.
Attached File  DGBP_0282.jpg   227.84KB   2 downloads This specimen is 42mm in length.


So that's it for plants.


The next installments will include insects and fish. Stay tuned because I don't know how many installments I'll need (maybe three or four)!!


#31 palaeopix

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 01:34 AM

Installment Five (part one): Insects in the Orders Diptera and Hemiptera from the Allenby Formation.


Numerous types of insect fossils, both aquatic and terrestrial, are known from the Allenby Formation. This installment will showcase the most abundant insect fossils, both in terms of numbers collected and families represented.

By far the most common insect fossils found around Princeton belong to the Order Diptera (Flies). Two Families are represented in my collection; the Family Bibionidae (March Flies) and the Family Tipulidae (Crane Flies). The two photos below show specimens of members of the Family Bibionidae. These specimens are usually identified as Plecia sp.
Attached File  DGBP_0142.jpg   259.17KB   8 downloadsAttached File  DGBP_0296.jpg   213.36KB   11 downloads Plecia sp.
The first specimens in 15mm in length while the second specimen has a wing span of 22mm.


The next photo shows another specimen which may or may not be from the Family Bibionidae.
Attached File  DGBP_0294.jpg   228.26KB   11 downloads This specimen is 11mm in length.


Next is a specimen from the Family Tipulidae.
Attached File  DGBP_0140.jpg   195.9KB   5 downloads This specimen has a wing span of 20mm.


The insect orders with the most families are entirely different. Fossils of insects from the Orders Hemiptera (True Bugs) and Hymenoptera (Bees, Wasps and Ants) are represented by three families each, in my collection from the Allenby Formation. First, I would like to show some photos of various members of the Order Hemiptera.

The first photo below is of a specimen from the Family Cercopidae (Plant/Frog Hoppers or Spittle Bugs).
Attached File  DGBP_0106.jpg   213.13KB   11 downloads This specimen measures 22mm in length.


Next is another specimen from the Family Cecopidae. The photo is not the greatest but it was the best I could come up with.
Attached File  0138-Edit.jpg   157.05KB   10 downloads This specimen is 5mm in length.


Next are two photos of specimens that belong to the Family Gerridae (Water Striders).
Attached File  DGBP_0141.jpg   172.51KB   5 downloadsAttached File  DGBP_0183.jpg   222.31KB   6 downloads Family Gerridae.
The first specimen measures 21mm (leg span) while the second specimen is 20mm (leg span).


And finally, the last photo, in this installment, shows a specimen that belongs to the Family Corixidae (Underwater Boatmen).
Attached File  DGBP_0180.jpg   284.64KB   8 downloads This specimen is 9mm in length.



The next installment will cover members of the Orders Hymenoptera and Coleoptera as well as some gastropoda that occur in the Allenby Formation.

Edited by palaeopix, 26 January 2011 - 12:09 AM.


#32 Ludwigia

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 05:19 AM

Keep them coming, Dan! This is a real treasure trove! Thanks!

Roger

Greetings from the Lake of Constance. Roger


#33 palaeopix

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 06:22 PM

Installment Five (part two): Some Hymenoptera, Coleoptera and gastropods from the Allenby Formation.

As I mentioned in the last installment, my collection includes specimens from the Order Hymenoptera (Bees, Wasps and Ants), that belong to three different families (Sphecidae, Braconidae and Apidae). Furthermore, I have a specimen that may belong to a fourth family (Vespidae), but its identification is pending. It's rather difficult to ID fossil Hymenoptera, as one usually has to count wing cells, but I did not do that here. Instead I compared the fossil specimens to photos of living examples. Even if I was ambitious enough to look at wing cells, the method would have been no use in IDing the fourth questionable specimen as it lacks wings! I'm uncertain as to whether the specimen ever had wings (that were not preserved or perhaps lost somehow).

The first photo below is of a specimen that belongs to the Family Sphecidae (Mud Daubers).
Attached File  DGBP_0255.jpg   126.27KB   21 downloads This specimen is 20mm across, but if stretched it out it would be 30mm in length.


Next is a photo of a specimen that belongs to the Family Braconidae (Parasitic Wasps).
Attached File  DGBP_0147.jpg   170.43KB   11 downloads This specimen is 20mm in length. The body alone is 11mm.
Some may recognize this specimen as the IPFOTM for April 2010, which I identified as belonging to the Family Ichneumonidae. After looking at the specimen more carefully, I was incorrect in my original assessment and the specimen is instead a member of the Family Braconidae.


Next is a photo of a specimen that belongs to the Family Apidae (Bees).
Attached File  DGBP_0143.jpg   226.27KB   8 downloads This specimen is 16mm in length.


Now I'd like to show a photo of a specimen which I think may be a member of the Family Vespidae (Paper Wasps).
Attached File  DGBP_0182.jpg   290.21KB   8 downloads This specimen is 7mm in length.
I'm not certain whether this is actually a member of the Hymenoptera, let alone the Vespidae, but it certainly looks like it might be.


Now on to the Order Coleoptera (Beetles) of which I have two specimens. Beetle taxonomy is tedious at best and the material was insufficient for any lower hierarchical designation, at least at my pay grade!

Attached File  DGBP_0179.jpg   347.76KB   10 downloads This specimen is 12mm in length and is missing its head!
Attached File  DGBP_0109.jpg   157.96KB   8 downloads This specimen (ventral view) is 20mm in length.
I've included this specimen with the beetles, but it may turn out to be a cockroach (Order Blattaria formerly known as the Order Blattodea)!

Finally, I'd like to show two examples of freshwater gastropods found in the Allenby Formation. The only place I've ever found these gastropods is at a site called Vermillion Bluffs which is famous for its Red Ochre deposits and Silicified root casts.

I'll not go into terrestrial gastropod sytematics here, as they are rather confusing. I will however say that terrestrial gastropods were once placed in the informal group Pulmonata (Air Breathers), but that term is no longer favoured in the literature.

By far the most common gastropod found in the Allenby Formation is Stagnicola tulameenensis, which may be found, in the hundreds, covering blocks of chert. The first photo below is of a specimen of Stagnicola tulameenensis.
Attached File  DGBP_0228.jpg   244.39KB   13 downloads
Stagnicola tulameenensis. This specimen is 16mm in length.


And the final photo, in this installment, is of a specimen from the Family Planorbidae that looks very similar to Gyraulus sp. This is the only specimen I've found, to date, at Vermillion Bluffs.
Attached File  DGBP_0226.jpg   292.11KB   7 downloads
Gyraulus sp. The specimen is 9mm across.


So that completes the Insects and gastropds!


The final installment will cover fish from the Allenby Formation.

Edited by palaeopix, 28 January 2011 - 06:03 PM.


#34 palaeopix

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 06:00 PM

Installment Six: Some Fish Fossils from the Allenby Formation.


Vertebrate fossils are not extremely common in the Allenby Formation, however specimens of fish are occasionally found. Unfortunately, most of the fish fossils are represented by fragmentary or incomplete material. I have seen some magnificent complete fish from the Coalmont Road site that belong to other local collectors, but as you will see most of the specimens in my collection consist of fragmentary material, though I do have one complete specimen!

There are some very large fish preserved in the Allenby Formation, but complete specimens are very rare. More often than not, all one finds are the isolated scales from these large fish. The following photos show examples of these scales. I'm not certain what these belong to, but they look similar to the scales from Amia sp., which is known to occur in the Allenby Formation.
Attached File  Scale.jpg   309.19KB   10 downloads This specimen is 15mm in length.
Attached File  _MG_0001-Edit.jpg   308.29KB   2 downloads This specimen is 10mm in length.


By far the most common fossil fish remains found in the Allenby Formation around Princeton (BC) are those of Eohiodon rosei. The next photo shows an incomplete specimen.
Attached File  DGBP_0160.jpg   124.78KB   14 downloads Eohiodon rosei. The specimen on the left measures 100mm in length.


The next photo shows the back third of an Eohiodon rosei, including the caudal fin and part of the dorsal fin.
Attached File  DGBP_0158.jpg   174.25KB   7 downloads Eohiodon rosei. This specimen measures 45mm in length.


Next is a photo of a specimen of what I suspect is Eohiodon rosei, that was preserved after partially decomposing.
Attached File  Untitled-1.jpg   179.11KB   10 downloads The lower specimen is 90mm in length.
The upper specimen resides in pleecan's (Peter's) collection. Thanks go out to Peter for allowing me to include his specimen here.


Next are two photos of Libotonius blakeburnensis. The first specimen is courtesy of pleecan again while the second is part of my collection.
Attached File  DGBP_0167.jpg   261.68KB   8 downloads Libotonius blakeburnensis. This specimen measures 50mm in length.
Attached File  DGBP_0168.jpg   275.11KB   9 downloads Libotonius blakeburnensis. This specimen measures 57mm in length.


To my knowledge the remains of birds have not yet been found in the Allenby Formation, but I do not see why they shouldn't be preserved. The only other vertebrate material I am aware of are two teeth, from a tillodont mammal, that were found in a coal mine on the Similkamen River, near Princeton.

The last photo in this installment is of a bone of some sort, found at the Blakeburn Mine site, near Princeton (BC). I have no idea exactly what this bone is or what it came from, but here it is!
Attached File  _MG_0002-Edit.jpg   194.36KB   20 downloads This specimen is 50mm in length. Note that some of the bone is still present in the specimen.


So that is the last of the material on fossils from the Allenby Formation, found in the area surrounding Princeton, British Columbia. I will be sure to post anything new that I may uncover in the future.

#35 Ludwigia

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 06:07 PM

Thanks very much Dan! This is a great source of reference.

Best wishes, Roger.

Greetings from the Lake of Constance. Roger


#36 palaeopix

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 06:14 PM

You're welcome Roger!

This material is by no means complete, but shows the diversity and quality of fossils found in the Allenby Formation. I will keep my eyes open for anything new or interesting to supplement this material!

Dan

#37 pleecan

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 06:51 PM

Dan : What a wonderful collection! The Allenby formation yields a very diverse biota.... very nice .
Dazzling photography.... hmm maybe start a guide book of the flora / fauna of Allenby......
PL

#38 piranha

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 10:57 PM

Wonderful fossils and photography Dan!
Reads as a virtual tour of the Eocene ! :thumbsu:

#39 Scylla

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 11:17 PM

Installment Four (part three): lobed leaves and Ginkgos.
Next is a nice, though incomplete, specimen of Sassafras sp.
Attached File  DGBP_0196.jpg   218.8KB   6 downloads Sassafras sp. This specimen is 45mm in height.
There is another morphotype of Sassafras found in the Allenby Formation that has unlobed leaves, but I'm not certain whether they belong to the same species.

The next installment will be in two parts, as I have too many photos for one post, and will cover flowers, fruits and seeds.


I don't know about the fossil sassafras, but the extant ones have one, two , three or even up to five lobes on leaves from the same tree. Great post and great fossils, you CAN have a dollar for every metasequoia you find if you send them to me, I'll gladly pay a dollar for one of those :)

#40 Wrangellian

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 01:35 AM

Spectacular specimens, Dan. Nice cross-section. It looks like decades worth of collecting. I was going to say you could put together a book but Peter beat me to it! (especially considering you know how to take pics of them)
I wonder if the leaf you refer to as Amelanchier sp. might actually be Alnus parvifolia ? (PaleoCollaborator: http://www.evolvinge..._nbr=UWBM 97669 )
Your long narrow one looks like a couple of the examples on PaleoColl. as well but I can't decide which one it would be.
Also I have a snail that might be from your neck of the woods, I'll take pics and post it here for your opinion.
Eric




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