NPS Paleontology Research Abstract Volume


FOSSIL DICOTYLEDONOUS WOODS OF YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, WYOMING

Elisabeth Wheeler
Department of Wood & Paper Science
Box 8005, N.C. State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-8005

The dicot woods of the middle Eocene Yellowstone fossil forests of Specimen Ridge and Amethyst Mountain are some of the most exquisitely preserved fossil woods known. Some of the Yellowstone woods are referable to extant genera (e.g., Alnus, alder), while others do not conform exactly to a single extant genus (e.g., Zelkovoxylon, similar to Zelkova, chinese elm). Over twenty woods have been described in print, there are ten additional types, including members of the Leguminosae and Sterculiaceae. These wood expand considerably our knowledge of trees that grew during one of the warmest portions of the Tertiary.


Back to Table of Contents

United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service