2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (19–22 October 2014)

Paper No. 199-11
Presentation Time: 10:55 AM

EARLY EOCENE INSECTS OF THE OKANAGAN HIGHLANDS


ARCHIBALD, S. Bruce and MATHEWES, Rolf W., Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada, sba48@sfu.ca

Some nineteen orders and easily over a hundred families of insects are now known from the early Eocene Okanagan Highlands series of fossil sites that occur scattered across about a thousand kilometers of southern British Columbia into north-central Washington. These rich deposits of highly diverse and finely preserved insects constitute an unprecedented opportunity to examine the state of insect life in a temperate upland during the early Eocene Climatic Optimum—the warmest sustained portion of the Cenozoic—a time when high-latitude Holarctic land connections and frost free winters reaching into the high Arctic facilitated intercontinental biotic interchange, and expanding plant-insect interactions were setting the stage for the emergence of modern terrestrial ecosystems.