Eocene Dawn Redwood Fossil Frond from Cache Creek
"considered by some to be a living fossil"

Metasequoia occidentalis (Dawn Redwood)

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

Geological Time: Early Middle Eocene

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Metasequoia: 78 mm by 40 mm

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

Metasequoia occidentalisDescription: This plaque displays a nice example of a complete 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. The flora was dominated by conifers farther away from the lake, and elm, birch, beech, and alder near to the lakeshore.

Also see: Living Fossils

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