Jurassic "savannah"—plant taphonomy and climate of the Morrison Formation (Upper Jurassic, Western USA)
The Morrison Formation contains six plant taphofacies: Wood, whole-leaf, leaf-mat, root, common carbonaceous debris, and rare carbonaceous debris. None of these taphofacies is common in the Morrison; particularly striking is the paucity of wood, even in more reducing environments. The flora of the Morrison Formation is distinct in the Kimmeridgian and Tithonian parts of the section. The plant taphofacies are consistent with a predominantly herbaceous vegetation. Evidence from the plant taphofacies, floras, and sedimentology of the Morrison is consistent with a warm, seasonal, semi-arid climate throughout, changing from dry semi-arid to humid semi-arid from the Kimmeridgian to the Tithonian parts of the formation.