The Konservat-Lagerstätte Menat (Paleocene; France) – an overview and new insights
Keywords:Menat, Paleocene, Konservat-Lagerstätte, Plants, Insects, Vertebrates
The Konservat-Lagerstätte Menat (Puy-de-Dôme, France) is an outstanding archive of a Paleocene ecosystem, which was deposited in a former maar lake. Excavations during the last century have yielded an extensive flora and fauna record, therefore an overview of the current state of paleontological investigations is given in this paper. Additionally, new results based on excavations from the years 2012 to 2014 are presented. The preservation of organic matter differed strongly between excavation sites, probably influenced by weathering processes. The stratigraphic succession consists mostly of organic-rich clays, intercalated with hard, silicified claystones. In 2013 and 2014 both impression and compression fossils were collected from different outcrops. Compression fossils from organic-rich clays were exceptionally well-preserved and included three-dimensional plant remains. A new database on insect paleobiodiversity was compiled. The occurrence of charcoal in almost all horizons investigated suggests that paleowildfires were frequent during the Paleocene in the vicinity of the paleolake. The results confirm the high potential of the Konservat-Lagerstätte Menat for future paleontological research.
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