Photograph of the cycad Dioon spinulosum in a greenhouse. The photograph shows a palm-like plant with a single columnar trunk and flush of elongate, pinnately compound leaves. The trunk is covered with leaf bases.

Nearest Living Relative methods

August 12, 2022 A new page on Nearest Living Relative methods has been added to the paleoecology chapter. NLR methods use the nearest living modern relatives of fossil plants in order to estimate paleoclimate.. Explore here: Image: The cycad Dioon spinulosum cultivated in a greenhouse. Photo by Elizabeth J. Hermsen (DEAL).

2-panel image showing photos of Green River plant fossils. Panel 1: Photograph of a display of plant fossils made up of a series of rectangular blocks of rock with fossils mounted on a wall. Right: Photograph of a fossil Macginitea leaf, a palmately lobed leaf with five lobes and a toothed margin.

Leaf Margin Analysis

June 24, 2022 A new page on Leaf Margin Analysis (LMA) has been added to the paleoecology chapter. LMA is a technique used to estimate mean annual temperature using fossil leaves of flowering trees and shrubs. Explore here: Image: Eocene Green River Formation (Parachute Creek Member) plant fossils at display at the Utah State Field House of Natural History …

3-Panel figure, photos of fossils preserving branches. Panel 1: Apical branching in Lepidodendron. Panel 2: Non-axillary lateral branching in Asterophyllites. Panel 3: Axillary lateral branching in dawn redwood (Metasequoia)


January 27, 2021 A new page has been added to the Embryophytes chapter of Digital Encyclopedia of Ancient Life (DEAL): Branching. This page explores the types of branching in plant shoots and roots and discusses monopodial and sympodial growth. It is part of the section “Introduction to vascular plant structure.” Image credits: Lepidodendron YPM PB 054238 (by Fiona O’Brien); Asterophyllites YPM PB 000699 (by Robert Swerling); Metasequoia …