Nye, E, Feist-Burkhardt, S, Horne, D J, Ross, Andrew and Whittaker, J E (2008) The palaeoenvironment associated with a partial iguanadon skeleton from the Upper Weald clay (Barremian, Early Cretaceous) at Smokejacks brickworks (Ockley, Surrey, UK) based on palynomorphs and ostracods. Cretaceous Research, 29 (3). pp. 417-444. ISSN 0195-6671

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Abstract

In 2001 a partial skeleton of an Iguanodon was discovered in the
Upper Weald Clay (Barremian, Early Cretaceous) at Smokejacks Brickworks near
Ockley, Surrey, UK. When the dinosaur was excavated, a detailed
stratigraphic section was logged and 25 samples taken for palynological and
micropalaeontological (ostracod and megaspore) analysis, including a
detailed sample set of the dinosaur bed itself. Qualitative and quantitative
analysis of the palynoflora revealed rich and well-preserved non-marine
assemblages of pollen and spores, including early angiosperms, and
freshwater green algae. Four types of angiosperm pollen are described and
assigned to the genus Retimonocolpites Pierce, 1961, but left in open
nomenclature. Some marine elements such as dinoflagellate cysts are
identified as the result of reworking of Middle and Upper Jurassic
sediments. The pollen/spore assemblages depict a vegetational change from
principally gymnosperm-dominated assemblages at the base to principally
pteridophyte-dominated assemblages at the top of the section. The dinosaur
bed shows a pteridophyte-dominated assemblage, with a significantly high
amount of the freshwater green alga Scenedesmus novilunaris He Cheng-quan et
al., 1992. Samples close to the dinosaur bed yielded the first useful
ostracod finds from Smokejacks Brickworks: well-preserved assemblages
containing Cypridea clavata (Anderson, 1939), Damonella cf. pygmaea
(Anderson, 1941), Stenestroemia cf. cressida Anderson, 1971 and
Stenestroemia sp. A, and fragments and damaged valves of a thin-shelled
ostracod, possibly belonging to Mantelliana Anderson, 1966. Those identified
as Cypridea clavata show a wide range of morphological variety and in
opposition to Anderson's (1967, 1985) taxonomic scheme, which would assign
them to up to five different taxa, they are considered to be intraspecific
variants of a single species. The possibilities and limitations of age
determination of the Wealden sediments using palynomorphs and ostracods are
discussed; distinct forms of early angiosperm pollen, together with the
ostracod fauna, are consistent with an early Barremian age. Pollen and
spores are discussed in terms of their parent plants and the reconstruction
of vegetation and palaeoclimate. Palynology and ostracods give evidence for
temporary freshwater conditions at the time when the Iguanodon died and the
carcase was buried

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QL Zoology
Theme: Understanding the natural world
Department: Natural Sciences
Depositing User: Users 11 not found.
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2011 14:40
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2011 14:40
URI: http://repository.nms.ac.uk/id/eprint/369

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