An assemblage of 46 fossil pollen and spore types is described from a core drilled through the middle Eocene Saramaguacan Formation, Camaguey Province, eastern Cuba. Many of the specimens represent unidentified or extinct taxa but several can be identified to family (Palmae, Bombacaceae, Gramineae, Moraceae, Myrtaceae) and some to genus (Pteris, Crudia, Lymingtonia?). The paleo-climate was warm-temperate to subtropical which is consistent with other floras in the region of comparable age and with the global paleotemperature curve. Older plate tectonic models show a variety of locations for proto-Cuba during Late Cretaceous and later times, including along the norther coast of South America. More recent models depict western and central Cuba as two separate parts until the Eocene, and eastern Cuba (joined to northern Hispaniola) docking to central Cuba also in the Eocene. All fragments are part of the North American Plate and none were directly connected with northern South America in late Mesozoic or Cenozoic time. The Saramaguacan flora supports this model because the assemblage is distinctly North American in affinities, with only one type (Retimonocolpites type 1) found elsewhere only in South America.
Additional Publication Details
Studies in neotropical paleobotany. XIV. A palynoflora from the middle Eocene Saramaguacan formation of Cuba