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Paleobotanical Section

Cressler, Walter [1], Lepage, Ben [2].

Late Devonian gymnosperms from the Red Hill locality, north-central Pennsylvania, USA.

Both cupulate and acupulate early gymnosperms have been discovered at Red Hill, a Late Devonian (Famennian) fossil locality in north-central Pennsylvania, U.S.A. Red Hill contains an Archaeopteris-dominated flora within an outcrop of the Duncannon Member of the Catskill Formation. Palynological analyses of the plant fossil-bearing horizons within the Red Hill outcrop indicate deposition occurred within the Fa2c biozone (Vco). This is the earliest time horizon known to contain evidence for gymnosperms, and is contemporaneous with the deposits bearing the cupulate forms Elkinsia in West Virginia, and Moresnetia and Dorinnotheca in Belgium. The three cupulate forms discovered at Red Hill are morphologically similar to these previously described Late Devonian cupulate gymnosperms. They have cupules that occur terminally in clusters of pairs on slender dichotomously forking axes and have forked cupule lobes. One cupulate gymnosperm from Red Hill is different from the other Late Devonian forms, except Dorinnotheca, by having cupule quadrants that are fused at their bases and attached to a single pedicel. Unlike Dorinnotheca, however, the cupules are erect and located on the ends of forking branches, whereas Dorinnotheca has everted cupule lobes. The other two Red Hill cupulate gymnosperms appear to have unfused cupule lobes. They are fragmentary, but appear to fall within the range of morphological variation of known Late Devonian cupulate gymnosperms. The acupulate gymnosperm material from Red Hill compares with Aglosperma quadripartita, previously known from the Latest Devonian of South Wales. Unlike the specimens from South Wales, the Red Hill specimens of cf. Aglosperma quadripartita ovules were discovered attached to dichotomously forking axes.

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Related Links:
Devonian Times: Who's Who: Early Seed Plants

1 - West Chester University, Francis Harvey Green Library, 29 West Rosedale Ave, West Chester, Pennsylvania, 19383, USA
2 - Urs Corp, 335 Commerce Drive, Suite 300, Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, 19034-2720, USA

Late Devonian
Catskill Formation

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 10-3
Location: 404/Hilton
Date: Monday, August 15th, 2005
Time: 10:45 AM
Abstract ID:46

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