Abstract Detail



Paleobotany

Huegele, Indah [1], Manchester, Steven [2], Smith, Selena [3].

Early Paleocene fruits and seeds from the Denver Formation of Littleton, Colorado.

A previously undescribed carpoflora from the early Paleocene near Littleton, CO, has revealed more than 10 different kinds of disseminules from micro-computed tomography (µCT) scans of 171 permineralized fruits and seeds.  This locality, originally discovered in 1973, is composed of fine silts and sands of the Denver Formation and has yielded a taxonomically rich and well-studied therian and sauropsid record, confirming a Puercan age.  Fruit and seed floras are taxonomically valuable due to the wealth of characters that can be discerned from reproductive structures.  However, paleo-carpofloras are relatively rare in North America, and the Littleton flora serves as the first account of a well-preserved early Paleocene carpoflora in North America.  In conjunction with the vertebrate diversity here, the Littleton flora serves as an interesting ecological snapshot of a transitional time in both angiosperm and vertebrate lineages following the K-T mass extinction event.  The most common elements of the flora include Sabiaceae and Mastixiaceae endocarps.  The occurrence of Meliosma is among the earliest for this genus in North America.  The Mastixiaceae endocarps include at least three morphotypes, indicating that this family that this family was already diversifying in the early Paleocene.  Although the morphology of the Littleton fruits and seeds are consistent with animal dispersal and in agreement with diets suggested by mammalian dentition, predation is not evident in any of our specimens.  Disseminule size in the Littleton flora, relative to other fruit and seed floras, are considered from an evolutionary context.


1 - University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, Dickinson Hall, 1659 Museum Rd, Gainesville, FL, 32611-7800, United States
2 - Florida Museum Of Natural History, Dickinson Hall, Museum Rd & Newell Dr., Gainesville, FL, 32611, United States
3 - Department Of Earth & Environmental Sciences, 1100 North University Avenue, Room 2534, NUB, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, United States

Keywords:
Paleocene
Carpoflora
Mastixiaceae
Meliosma
Computer Tomography.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: 0004
Abstract ID:560
Candidate for Awards:Isabel Cookson Award,Maynard F. Moseley Award


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