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Early Middle Eocene McAbee Flora of Cache Creek, British Columbia

Introduction

McAbee Locality
Photo of the McAbee Locality. The fossil bearing shales are in the light colored sections in the middle of the photo.

The McAbee locality occurs east of the town of Cache Creek, British Columbia along Highway 97. This deposit contains remains of a 50 million year old forest that grew in the surrounding mountains and the basin containing the lake. Leaves, flowers, seeds and insects were transported by wind, rivers and streams into the lake, where they sank to the bottom. Diatoms (single celled algae encased in a silica shell) bloomed in the lake each spring and died in the summer. The steady rain of dead diatoms covered organic remains that sank to the bottom and over time formed the shale that encloses the fossils. This fine grained, silica rich sediment preserved many fine details, which make detailed comparisons of the fossils to their modern counterparts possible.