New plant fossils from the Lower Cretaceous of the Parnaíba Basin, Northeastern Brazil: Southern Laurasia links

Rafael Matos Lindoso, Tânia Lindner Dutra, Ismar de Souza Carvalho, Manuel Alfredo Medeiros


This study reports on the presence of a diverse set of gymnosperm and angiosperm macrofossils from the Codó Formation, Parnaíba Basin, whose assemblage was previously known only by the occurrence of pollen grains, spores, wood fragments, leaves and roots associated with Nympheaceae. In the Brejo municipality, northeastern Maranhão State, marl levels attest a transitional to marginal lacustrine environment, with occasional marine ingressions, demonstrated by the presence of crustaceans, gastropods and fishes. The plant fossils are preserved exclusively by molds and impressions, and its diversity is represented by few specimens, suggesting taphonomic processes of selection and transportation. The taphoflora is composed of Gnetales (?Drewria), conifers (Cupressinocladus and Brachyphyllum), and basal angiosperms (Nympheales, Magnollids, and/or basal Eudicots), which support an upper Aptian – ?Albian age. It displays affinities with both the well-known flora of the Araripe Basin (Santana Formation) as well as those ones identified in deposits from the south of North America (Potomac Group), suggesting that terrestrial links persisted in the equatorial areas of the Pangea at the end of the Early Cretaceous.


Lower Cretaceous; Macroflora; Parnaíba Basin; Codó Formation.

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