A morphotype catalog and paleoenvironmental interpretations of early Miocene fossil leaves from the Hiwegi formation, Rusinga Island, Lake Victoria, Kenya

Daniel P. Maxbauer, Daniel J. Peppe, Marion Bamford, Kieran P. McNulty, William E.H. Harcourt-Smith, Larry E. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Early Miocene deposits on Rusinga Island (Lake Victoria, Kenya) contain an abundance of faunal and floral remains. Despite the attention that has historically been given to the early Miocene fauna from Rusinga Island, little attention has been given to the early Miocene fossil floras and to date no studies have described fossil leaf morphotypes from Rusinga Island. Here, we present a morphotype catalog of fossil leaves collected from the Grit Member of the Hiwegi Formation on Rusinga Island. We describe 14 morphotypes, comprised of 12 dicotyledonous angiosperms and two monocotyledonous angiosperms, as well as two distinct dicotyledonous angiosperm leaf fragments. Characteristics of the flora and sedimentological evidence, coupled with previous research, suggest that the local paleoenvironment was a riparian habitat within a patchwork of woodland and forested biomes in what was likely a warm climate. This work represents an important first step in understanding the early Miocene vegetation of Rusinga Island, and highlights both the need and potential for future research on these early Miocene floras.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPalaeontologia Electronica
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Early Miocene
  • Megafloral paleobotany
  • Paleoenvironment
  • Rusinga Island

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