A Preliminary Survey of Eocene Angiosperm Leaves from the Peruvian Andes

El Bosque Petrificado Piedra Chamana is a paleontological site situated in the Andes Mountains near the remote village of Sexi, in the Cajamarca region of Peru. The site dates to approximately 39 million years ago during the Eocene epoch. It contains an array of fossilized wood and leaf specimens preserved by a volcanic eruption from a period when the Earth was significantly warmer than today. The fossils contain clues that can give us information regarding the environment at that time, as well as the uplift of the Andean Mountain range. Over 40 different species of angiosperms (flowering plants) have been discovered at the site from the fossilized wood. The wood provides a glimpse into the climate at that time, revealing a seasonal forest, alternating between periods of heavy rain and drought. The fossil leaves have not been studied in detail yet. Over 200 leaf specimens were collected in 2005 and 2007 and are stored at the Museo de Historia Natural in Lima, Peru. The leaves (using high resolution photographs) are in the process of being sorted into morphotypes, which is a system used to determine the number of species present in a collection based on common characteristics such as apex angle, venation, or margin type. Once sorted, these will be used to determine the diversity of the flora. Future goals include using the leaves to estimate paleoclimate parameters and to compare the taxonomic composition of the leaves to the wood flora.

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Work Title A Preliminary Survey of Eocene Angiosperm Leaves from the Peruvian Andes
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Open Access
Creators
  1. Kelly Martin
Keyword
  1. Paleobotany
License Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
Work Type Presentation
Deposited April 15, 2020

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  • Added Research_Outline_2020_v2.pdf
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