Palaeontology of the upper Turonian paralic deposits of the Sainte-Mondane Formation, Aquitaine Basin, France
Keywords:Amber, Plants, Palynomorphs, Turonian, Cretaceous, France
The upper Turonian lignite deposits of Sainte-Mondane, Dordogne (Aquitaine Basin, SW France), consist of clays bearing translucent, orange to red, amber micrograins. The amber exhibits different types of microbial inclusions. The clays contain several conifers including the genera Brachyphyllum, Frenelopsis and Glenrosa, and a few leaf fragments of eudicot angiosperms. Among the plant meso-fossils the occurrence of Costatheca, Spermatites and abundant, diverse megaspores, including species of Ariadnaesporites, Bacutriletes, Echitriletes, Erlansonisporites, Maexisporites, Minerisporites and Verrutriletes, is noteworthy. Pollen grains of the Normapolles group are important components of the palynomorph assemblage. The clays were deposited in a calm, estuarine or lagoonal, muddy environment. The overlying lignitic sands contain large fossil wood pieces of the conifer Agathoxylon, small solitary corals, fragmentary oysters and pectinids, echinoid spines, a few teeth of marine selachians and bony fishes, but no amber is present. These sands were deposited in a high-energy coastal marine environment.
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