Plants form the base of the food web in terrestrial ecosystem and learning more about them improves our understanding of ancient ecological relationships. The distribution and structure of vertebrate and plant communities are intertwined through feeding relationships and the physical setting. Come learn about the insights fossil plants provide about landscapes and life of the distant past.
Cretaceous Park: The Ancient Paleo Environment of Dinosaur Provincial Park
Eva Koppelhus, Biological Science, University of Alberta
Dinosaur Park is world famous for its richness in dinosaur fossils, however, these dinosaurs would not have had a good life without an environment rich in plants and other animals. This talk will give insight to what environment the dinosaurs lived and died in.
Why Eat Wood? Fossilized Feces Provide Surprising Insights Into Dinosaur Diets
Karen Chin, Universtiy of Colorado, Boulder
Fossilized feces (coprolites) from herbivorous dinosaurs are rare, but some remarkable specimens have been found. An unusual suite of 75 million year-old coprolites from Montana offers intriguing glimpses of dinosaur feeding behavior.
Fossils from the Land of Sheba – Ethiopia’s Forested Past
Bonnie Jacobs, Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Southern Methodist University
Paleobotanical research on the Ethiopian Plateau documents a rich forest quite different from modern African forests, and tells us about the habitat in which an ancient endemic fauna lived when Africa was an island continent 27 million years ago. A land connection formed with Eurasia about 23 million years ago, forests changed, and at the same time the stage was set for the evolution of the iconic landscapes and faunas we know today.
Really Old Growth Forests. 100 Million Years of Hardwood History
Elisabeth Wheeler, N.C. State University
Fossil woods of flowering plants occur on all continents, including Antarctica, and tell tales of ancient landscapes and changing climates. Study of the microscopic structure of wood and the patterns of water conducting cells is a useful tool in interpreting ancient environment.
James Mickle, N.C. State University