Fossil Leaf From The Ione Formation

Western Foothills Of The Sierra Nevada, California

Middle Eocene, 45 Million Years Old

This is an undescribed fossil leaf from the Middle Eocene Ione Formation, western foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Note the well-preserved midrib (primary vein) , secondary veins, leaf margin and petiole (the stem); venation is pinnate, the margin entire--that is, the edge of the leaf is smooth and non-serrated. Paleobotanists will most-assuredly be able to identify this specimen, eventually. Reddish-brown coloration of the fossil is due to the mineral iron oxide which was precipitated during Eocene times under very humid, chemically reducing conditions. The roughly 45 million-year-old specimen came from a n extraordinarily rich locality on private property in Amador County--a specific site currently under formal paleobotanical study by Dr. Jack A. Wolfe (retired member of the United States Geological Survey) and Howard E. Schorn (retired Collections Manager of Fossil Plants at the University California Museum of Paleontology in Berkeley), among others, who hope to use the fossils to help approximate the paleoelevation of the ancestral Sierra Nevada region during the geologic past.

Please note: All fossil localities in the Ione Formation of Amador County, California, presently occur on private property; explicit permission from the land owners must be secured before collecting fossils there.

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