Terrestrial plants

The marine deposits of Monte San Giorgio also revealed fragments of terrestrial plants (small branches, leaves, cones), which suggest the presence of nearby mainland or islands. These most notably include fragments of the horsetail Equisetites, seed ferns (a group of plants now completely extinct) belonging to the genus Ptilozamites, cycads of the genus Taeniopteris, as well as conifers of the genera Voltzia and Elatocladus. It is assumed that in a hot, monsoonal climate recurring storms swept through the coastal forests and carried fragments of plants out into the sea.

Elatocladus, a 15 cm long conifer twig from the Cassina beds, © MCSN, photo R. Stockar