First record of the mangrove palm Nypa from the northeastern Ebro Basin, Spain: with taphonomic criteria to evaluate the drifting duration



Fossil fruits pertaining to the mangrove palm genus Nypa Steck, (Arecaceae, Arecales) were collected from a new plant-bearing assemblage in the Arguis Formation (Fm.), northeastern Ebro Basin (Arguis, Huesca Province, Spain). This formation is Bartonian to early Priabonian in age and comprises pro delta and carbonate platform deposits. The new assemblage consists of nine specimens of fossil Nypa fruits and one monocotyledon leaf fragment. Over half of these fossil fruits are nearly-complete (i.e. with preserved mesocarps) while the other represent endocarps. From the point of view of morphology and size they resemble other European records of this genus. The type of remain preserved (fruits or endocarps), presence of abrasion, Teredo borings and sedimentary facies provide criteria to infer contrasting lengths of transport (drifting). However, they indicate in all cases that these fossil fruits were afloat in seawater for a considerable time. The discovery of Nypa fruits suggests a tropical-subtropical climate in the area, as well as the presence of a coastal environment and littoral forests during deposition. This interpretation corroborates previous findings from the nearby Eocene outcrops of the Catalan Central Depression (Eastern Pyrenees range).


Mangrove; South-Pyrenees External Sierras; Palm; Iberian Peninsula; Arecaceae

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