Early Permian plant megafossils from Carrizo Arroyo, central New Mexico
— William D. Tidwell, Sidney R. Ash, Barry S. Kues, Kenneth K. Kietzke, and Spencer G. Lucas


A variety of plant fossils, including diverse forms of foliage, have been found in the Red Tanks Member of the Madera Formation of Late Pennsylvanian and Early Permian age in Carrizo Arroyo of the Sierra Lucero area of New Mexico. The flora includes Lepidophloios, Asterophyllites grandis, Asterophyllites charaeformis, Annularia stellata, Annularia sphenophylloides, Sphenopteridium manzanitanum, Macroneuropteris scheuchzerii, Neuropteris sp., Mixoneura sp., Cyclopteris trichomaniodes, Rhachiphyllum schenkii, Autunia conferta, Arnophyton kuesii, Phasmatocycas kansana, Cordaites principalis, Cordaites angulosostraitus, Cordaites palmaeformis, Cordaianthus sp., Samaropsis pseudofluitans, Cordaicarpus sp., Walchia piniformis, Walchia schneiderii, ?Walchianthus sp., ?Ernestiodendron sp., Gomphostrobus bifidus, and Charliea manzanitana. The assemblage is dominated by Autunia conferta, Walchia piniformis, Sphenopteridium manzanitanum, and various species of Cordaites. The fossil flora and associated fauna indicate that most of the Red Tanks Member is most likely earliest Permian in age. The Red Tanks flora appears to be an example of a transitional flora that developed as the once widespread Palaeophytic flora disappeared because of increasing dryness near the end of the Paleozoic Era.

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Recommended Citation:

  1. Tidwell, William D.; Ash, Sidney R.; Kues, Barry S.; Kietzke, Kenneth K.; Lucas, Spencer G., 1999, Early Permian plant megafossils from Carrizo Arroyo, central New Mexico, in: Albuquerque Country, Pazzaglia, Frank J.; Lucas, S. G.; Austin, G. S., New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 50th Field Conference, pp. 297-304. https://doi.org/10.56577/FFC-50.297

[see guidebook]