Abstract

The recovery of identifiable plant remains intimately associated with a skeleton of Tyrannosaurus rex in southwestern Saskatchewan, Canada, provides the basis for interpreting the latest Maastrichtian (65.5–65 Ma) paleoenvironment of the region. Fossil plants from the site are described, and fruits formerly known as Aesculus antiquus Dawson or Ficus ceratops Knowlton are transferred to a new taxon, Spinifructus antiquus (Dawson) comb. nov. Study of the sediments of the Frenchman Formation that host the bones and plants, in combination with analysis of the plants, indicates that the regional climate was mesothermal and without winter frost, but with seasonal drought. The T. rex is believed to have roamed a broad river valley abundantly vegetated by a largely deciduous flora. The deciduous nature of the Saskatchewan paleovegetation, interpreted as a response to low winter light levels at high latitude, contrasts strongly with the contemporaneous vegetation of a few degrees latitude further south and leads to questions about how a dinosaur fauna survived in a region where the bulk of the vegetation entered an extended period of dormancy.

You do not currently have access to this article.