The Paleocene Horse Creek florule, Tongue River Member of the Fort Union Formation, southeastern Montana, USA
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Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611-7800, USA
424 Orange St. Pass, Christian, MS, 39571, USA
Submission date: 2022-10-11
Acceptance date: 2023-03-13
Online publication date: 2023-05-12
Publication date: 2023-05-12
Acta Palaeobotanica 2023; 63(1): 32-53
  • Paleocene leaves, cones and fruits are described from the Horse Creek site, SE Montana.
  • Diversity is relatively low, about 15 species, consistent with other Tiffanian sites
  • The florule includes a high proportion of deciduous leaves with long slender petioles
  • Platanaceae and Cornales are dominants of the flora.
  • Porosia verrucosa and Phyllites demoresii might be related as parts of the same plant
We investigated leaf, cone and fruit impressions preserved in a siltstone deposit between coal seams in the late Paleocene Tongue River Member near Otter, southeast Montana, to assess the floristic diversity and composition. We document the presence of Taxodium based on seed cone scales as well as foliage branches and associated pollen cones, and a low-diversity angiosperm assemblage of about 15 genera dominated by Platanaceae (Platanus, Macginitiea, Macginistemon) and Cornales (Cornus, Davidia, Amersinia, Browniea), cf. Trochodendraceae (Zizyphoides, Nordenskioeldia), augmented by Aesculus, Trochodendroides, Ulmites and Porosia. Most of these genera were widespread in the Paleocene of the Northern Hemisphere. The low diversity of this florule is consistent with that of Tiffanian assemblages elsewhere in Montana and Wyoming. The leaf known as Phyllites demoresii Brown is proposed as a likely candidate to correspond with the extinct fruits called Porosia verrucosa (Lesquereux) Hickey emend. Manchester et Kodrul.
This work was supported in part by NSF grant EAR 9220079.
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