SUPERB Cretaceous Fossil Plant from Lebanese Lagerstatte

Sapindopsis anhouryi

Division Magnoliophyta, Class Magnoliopsida, Order Sapindales; Sapindaceae

Geological Time: Middle Cretaceous, Middle Cenomanian Stage (93 million years ago)

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Plant fossil is 213 mm long, 95 mm across on a 250 mm by 145 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Lebanese Lagerstatte, en-Nammoura, Lebanon

Fossil Code: L591

Price: Sold

Sapindopsis anhouryiDescription: Known for its incredibly well-preserved fish and crustaceans, the sublithographic limestone of the Cretaceous of Lebanon also preserved incredible detail here as well. This is an exceptional example of the Sapindaeceae (soapberry tree) known as Sapindopsis, a genus found as well in the Cretaceous deposits of western North America. The modern-day genus Sapindus was first seen in the Eocene of North America. Its fruits contain saponin, a substance that has been used as a soap substitute. Few plants are preserved in the Cretaceous marine deposits of Lebanon, and most are marine algae, so this is a most uncommon fossil. The en-Nammoura location preserves more plant examples than either Hajoula or Haqel, leading some to believe it was a site closer to land, allowing for greater preservation of terrestrial plants such as this. The quarries of en-Nammoura are one of the few places where plants of this age are preserved, and this is an exceptional example of the type. Notice the preservation of the venation, making this a very detailed specimen.

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