Late cretaceous angiosperm woods from the mcrae formation, south-central New Mexico, USA: Part 2

Emilio Estrada-Ruiz, Elisabeth A. Wheeler, Garland R. Upchurch, Greg H. Mack

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Abstract

© 2018 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved. Premise of research. Over the past 3 decades, angiosperm woods have been reported from the Campanian to the Maastrichtian of southern Laramidia, including Coahuila and Chihuahua, Mexico; Big Bend National Park, Texas; and the San Juan Basin, New Mexico. Recent investigations of the upper Campanian (76.5 to >72.5 Ma) Jose Creek Member of the McRae Formation, south-central New Mexico, indicate an abundance of well-preserved silicified woods, representing one of the most diverse Cretaceous wood floras in the world. In this report, we describe four new angiosperm wood types. Methodology. The fossil woods described here were collected from the upper Campanian of south-central New Mexico, along the northeastern flank of the Caballo Mountains and in the adjacent Cutter Sag, and were studied using thin sections. The potential affinities of these McRae woods were determined by comparison with fossil and extant woods. Pivotal results. The woods reported here comprise one magnoliid and three eudicots with varying levels of comparability to extant taxa. Laurinoxylon rennerae sp. nov. belongs to Lauraceae and has a combination of features found in multiple extant genera variously referred to as Cinnamomeae Nees, Laureae Maout & Decaisne, or Lauroideae Burnett/core Lauraceae. Turneroxylon newmexicoense gen. et sp. nov. is a eudicot with many similarities to Dilleniaceae but differs in having narrower rays. Mcraeoxylon waddellii gen. et sp. nov. has a suite of features seen in several families of Malpighiales, Myrtales, and Oxalidales. McRae angiosperm wood type 1 has a suite of features found in genera of Dilleniales, Ericales, and Malpighiales. Conclusions. All wood types, with the exception of M. waddellii, have minimum axis diameters of >10 cm (12–50 cm), indicating that they represent trees. This reinforces previous evidence for the presence of small to large angiosperm trees in the Jose Creek Member and underscores the importance of woody angiosperms in vegetation of the southern Western Interior during the Campanian-Maastrichtian.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)136-150
Number of pages120
JournalInternational Journal of Plant Sciences
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2018

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