Metasequoia Cone Fossil from Cache Creek

Metasequoia occidentalis - fossil cone

Division Pinophyta (conifers), Class, Pinopsida, Order Pinales, Family Cupressaceae

Geological Time: Early Middle Eocene

Size: Metasequoia: Metasequoia: 15 mm cone with 110 mm stem and 27 mm long frond. Matrix: 145 mm X 110 mm

Fossil Site: McAbee Fossil Beds, Tranquille Shale, Cache Creek, British Columbia, Canada

Metasequoia Cone FossilDescription: This plaque displays a nice example of a cone and a frond of a tree from the lacustrine deposits of the McAbee Flora of the Eocene of British Columbia, Canada with fine preservational details. The region was dominated by a shallow lake. Plant matter which fell into the water was covered with a fine layer of silt which built up over the years as a result of deposition of diatoms which bloomed in the lake each spring and died in the summer. This is a fine example of the preservation for which this biota is known. The Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia) is a genus that was first discovered in Korea over 60 years ago. The first living specimens were discovered in central China in 1944. Cones are produced by both the male and female tree, with the male trees producing small cones in bunches. The large cone seen here on a long stem is typical of those produced by female trees. The deeper brown color of the plant matter contrasts well with the lighter matrix, bringing out the detail.

Also see: Living Fossils

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