Unidentified seed found in the White River Badlands.

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Joseph Dumont 7 months ago.

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  • #35947

    Joseph Dumont
    Participant

    Hi @mackenzie-smith, I need help in identifying this seed that was found in the White River Badlands. I found this seed in the lower Brule formation on a ranch north of Crawford, Nebraska and have not been able to identify it. Approximate height = 12 mm and width = 15 mm (with the perimeter ridge = 16 mm). Thank you for any help that you may provide, Joe

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    #35949

    MacKenzie Smith
    Participant

    Hi @joseph-dumont! A couple of questions: Is there another ridge running perpendicular to the larger ridge? If so, this is the raphe, a remnant of vasculature between the ovule and ovary. Also, do you see any hilar or micropilar scars? These would appear as dots, circles or even ellipses. I would expect to see one or both below the “beak” and perhaps at the opposite end of the “beak”. If it is a seed, knowing the positions of these characters can help us understand the ovule position which in turn narrows down what families your seed could be in. That “beak” is common (though not exclusionary) in seeds with a campylotropous position which would include plants in the myrtle, poppy, cactus, caper and bean families.

    Alternatively, this might also be an endocarp, like the pit of a stoney fruit. I’ll check the FLMNH collections tomorrow and get back to you on what we have from the Brule in terms of plants. I know seeds have been found there before but not the extent to which they have been studied. Thanks!

    #35950

    Joseph Dumont
    Participant

    Thank you for the information. I did not see a another ridge running perpendicular to the larger one. I did see very faint circular micropilar scars on one side and tried to photograph them (added text to photo to indicate what side they were observed). The other side of the seed is slightly eroded – unable to determine there are any micropilar scars.

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    #35952

    Joseph Dumont
    Participant

    I did see very faint circular micropilar scars on one side – it was challenging to get a good photo – tried UV light, but did not help.

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    #35960

    MacKenzie Smith
    Participant

    Thanks for the additional pictures @joseph-dumont! That helped clarify a few things for me. I checked both the collections here at the Florida Museum and the Paleobiology Database and did not find anything on fruits and seeds from the Brule of Nebraska. The PBDB did have an occurrence of Celtis (commonly known as sugarberry or hackberry) from the Brule of South Dakota though. Celtis is relatively common in the fossil record because it is one of the few calcifying plants and actually produces a mineralized endocarp. However, your fossil is not sculptured the same way a Celtis endocarp is. With the new photos I can now see that what I thought was a campylotropous condition is actually a deformity of the fruit. While I’m not 100% sure, if I had to put a genus to your fossil I would say it is a Prunus endocarp. This is the cherry genus but also includes things like apricots, almonds, peaches and plums. Prunus dates back to the mid-Eocene from southern British Columbia so the timing would fit well too. Thanks again for the share! Great find!

    #35964

    Joseph Dumont
    Participant

    Great information and Thank you for taking the time to investigate! It always fun to learn something new about a fossil. The museum is welcome to have this fossil for its collection.

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