Fossil palms (arecaceae, coryphoideae) associated with juvenile herbivorous dinosaurs in the Upper Cretaceous Aguja Formation, Big Bend National Park, TEXAS

Steven R. Manchester, Thomas M. Lehman, Elisabeth A. Wheeler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Seeds of two palm species conforming to the extant genus Sabal have been recovered from the Campanian (Upper Cretaceous) Aguja Formation of Big Bend National Park, Texas: Sabal bigbendense sp. nov. and Sabal bracknellense (Chandler) Mai. These remains, found together with anatomically preserved palm stems, augment previous reports of Sabalites ungeri (Lesq.) Dorf leaves from the same formation. The co-occurrence of palm seeds with numerous juvenile hadrosaur and ceratopsian bones indicates that palms closely related to modern cabbage palms may have provided fodder and shelter for young herbivorous dinosaurs. The distribution of these and other Late Cretaceous palm fossils is reviewed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)679-689
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Plant Sciences
Volume171
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2010

Keywords

  • Arecaceae
  • Campanian
  • Ceratopsians
  • Dinosaur herbivory
  • Fossil
  • Leaves
  • Sabal
  • Seeds
  • Stems
  • Texas

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