Northeastern Section - 50th Annual Meeting (23–25 March 2015)
Paper No. 3
Presentation Time: 4:10 PM
A PRIDOLIAN (OR EARLIER) SILURIAN TERRESTRIAL PLANT COMMUNITY IN THE BERTIE GROUP LAGERSTATTE OF EASTERN NEW YORK
MCKENZIE, Scott C., Geology, Mercyhurst University, 501 East 38th Street, Erie, PA 16546, email@example.com
Examination of plant fossils collected in the Bertie Group at the Lang quarry in Herkimer County, New York is revealing a low frequency but diverse assemblage of terrestrial plants. The specimens found so far include liverworts, lycopod- like specimens, fertile cooksonias, zosterophyllum grades and a putative “protoligniphyte”. Specimens are well preserved morphologically but structural details are scarce. Other terrestrial fossils recovered include two types of Prototaxites-like taxa and one species of scorpion that may have lived sub-aerially and a scorpion relative that may be land adaptated.
The quarry has produced many eurypterids including giants over seven feet long, algae, gastropods and cephalopods as well as rare barnacles, a synxiphosurine, one phyllocarid, a hydrozoan, a hydra like fossil, a brachiopod, a single tabulate coral, several primitive fish and other material. Most of these are undescribed.
The plant fossils indicate a thriving and diverse terrestrial ecosystem at a very early time that may require a reappraisal of the environment(s) represented in the Bertie Group.