MONOCOT MACROFOSSILS FROM THE MIOCENE OF SOUTHERN NEW ZEALAND
Monocot cuticle is an uncommon component of dispersed cuticle samples in the New Zealand Miocene, a fact most likely due to its generally fragile nature. Nevertheless, 120 fossiliferous samples from two regions, the interior Manuherikia Basin in Central Otago, and the paleo-coastal delta of the Southland Coalfield, have produced 17 morphological types of cuticle, 15 of which are regarded as clearly monocot. These are described as parataxa and are regarded as including
Astelia, Arecaceae, Rhipogonum, Pandanaceae, and Typha. Most of the fossils remain unidentified, but are probably semi-aquatic swamp plants. Six forms of fossil
Typha seeds are also illustrated.
KEY WORDS: Early Miocene, cuticle, biodiversity, stomata, monocot
PE Article Number: 10.3.15A
Copyright: Society of Vertebrate Paleontology December 2007
Submission: 30 January 2007. Acceptance: 8 November 2007