The wood flora from the Upper Cretaceous Crevasse Canyon and McRae formations, south-central New Mexico, USA: A progress report
Emilio Estrada-Ruiz, Joan M. Parrott, Upchurch, Garland R., Jr., Elisabeth A. Wheeler, Dori L. Thompson, Greg H. Mack, and Mindy M. Murray

Abstract:

Over the past two decades a significant wood flora has been discovered from the Ash Canyon Member of the Crevasse Canyon Formation (Campanian) and the Jose Creek Member of the McRae Formation (Maastrichtian). To date, at least 10 types of dicots, three types of monocots, and 7 types of conifers are known from approximately 30 sectioned specimens. Woods of Celastraceae and Myrtaceae from the Jose Creek Member of the McRae Formation constitute the first occurrences of these families in the North American fossil wood record. Fossil woods and leaves show congruent patterns of relationships to modern families, but in some cases woods document families not yet validly recognized from the Cretaceous leaf record. Metcalfeoxylon, Paraphyllanthoxylon, Platanoxylon, Palmoxylon, and different types of conifer wood occur at coeval localities from northern New Mexico, west Texas, and northern Mexico, indicating that wood floras from the southern Western Interior shared a number of common elements during the Campanian–Maastrichtian. The minimal development of growth rings in all dicots and many conifers, and the occurrence of palm stems, reinforce evidence from paleosols and leaf macrofossils for warm subtropical to paratropical climates with minimal freezing and year-round precipitation.


Citation:

  1. Estrada-Ruiz, Emilio; Parrott, Joan M.; Upchurch, Garland R., Jr.; Wheeler, Elisabeth A.; Thompson, Dori L.; Mack, Greg H.; Murray, Mindy M., 2012, The wood flora from the Upper Cretaceous Crevasse Canyon and McRae formations, south-central New Mexico, USA: A progress report, in: Geology of the Warm Springs region, Lucas, Spencer G.; McLemore, Virginia T.; Lueth, Virgil W.; Spielmann, Justin A.; Krainer, Karl, New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 63rd Field Conference, pp. 503-518.

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