FarWest Geoscience Foundation

Paleobotanical Field Trip To Sailor Flat, California

Two members of the FarWest Geoscience Foundation carefully inspect each piece of shale removed from the outcrop for Middle Eocene leaves and seeds. Note the clumps of manzanita behind the collectors, and the thick mixed conifer forest in the background. During Middle Eocene times, this very same area would have been a stagnant oxbow lake along a meandering river, where countless leaves and seeds from a subtropical forest fell into quiet, still, oxygen-poor waters and were eventually buried by extremely fine clays and muds, preserving the ancient vegetation in astounding detail.

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