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Article: Dicotyledonous wood from the lower Tertiary of Britain

Publication: Palaeontology
Volume: 32
Part: 3
Publication Date: October 1989
Page(s): 597 622
Author(s): M. Crawley
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How to Cite

CRAWLEY, M. 1989. Dicotyledonous wood from the lower Tertiary of Britain. Palaeontology32, 3, 597–622.

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The Palaeontological Association (Free Access)


Nine species of fossil wood are described from localities in south-east England and western Scotland. These include a new genus, Eiggoxylon gen. nov. (Rosidae: Cunoniaceae? or Eucryphiaceae ?), from the Palaeocene of Eigg, Scotland, and five new species: Plataninium brettii sp. nov. (Eupteleaceae?, Fagaceae?, Icacinaceae? or Platanaceae?) from the Palaeocene of Mull, Scotland; Edenoxylonl atkinsoniae sp. nov. (Anacardiaceae) and Sapotoxylon atkinsoniae sp. nov. (Sapotaceae) from the Eocene of Sheppey, Kent; Tarrietioxylon hazzeldinewarrenii sp. nov. (Sterculiaceae) and T. cf. hazzeldinewarrenii from the Palaeocene of Essex; and Ulminium elliottii sp. nov. (Lauraceae) from the Palaeocene of the Isle of Thanet, Kent. Also discussed are specimens from the Palaeocene assigned to Cercidiphylloxylon spenceri (Brett) Pearson (1987) (Cercidiphyllaceae) from Mull; Plataninium decipiens Brett (1972) (Icacinaceae? or Platanaceae?) from Farnborough, Berkshire; and Ulminiuml sp. (Lauraceae) from Newbury, Berkshire. These specimens extend the geographical and lithostratigraphical range of these taxa, and provide additional information on their variability. The Scottish woods show well-defined growth rings and low vulnerability indices whilst most of the English woods have poorly defined or no growth rings and high vulnerability indices. This study complements previous research on British Palaeogene fruit, seed and leaf floras and establishes further continuity with fossil wood floras of continental Europe and North America. The fossils of Lauraceae, Sapotaceae and Sterculiaceae are first wood records for these families from the British Isles. The name Ulminium wheelerae nom. nov. is established for Ulminium parenchymatosum Wheeler, Scott and Barghoorn (1977) non Schonfeld (1956).
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