Sabalites; a fossil palm leaf from Wyoming, USA - ROM2004_982_17

Palm leaf fossil, Sabalites sp., collected 2003
ROM2004_982_17

Sabalites; a fossil palm leaf from Wyoming, USA

Dimensions:
Slab: 122 (W) x 200 (L) cm, 200 kg
Taxonomy
    • Attributes
    • Objects
    • Taxonomy
    • KingdomPlantae
    • GenusSabalites
    • SpecificEpithetsp
Object number: ROMIP56420-45433
Not on view
DescriptionAlthough past life was diverse, we rarely have a good window through which to examine it. The Green River Formation is one such window with its spectacular preservation of diverse fish, insects, and plants, and other animals. Here, we can view Wyoming during the Eocene, much as it was about 50 million years ago. The deposits represent a series of freshwater lakes. Algal blooms occasionally depleted the oxygen of one of the lakes, suddenly suffocating the fish. The dead fish (and occasionally other animals) sank and were covered by sediment that precipitated from the water due to the sudden change in water chemistry, Over the millennia, repeated blooms in one lake or another of this system created a buildup of abundant layers of thick, fossil-rich limestones. This huge frond of a Sabalites palm is evidence of the subtropical nature of the environment surrounding these lakes.
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