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Early Silurian (Llandoverian) macrofossils from the lower Massanutten Sandstone at Passage Creek in Virginia represent the oldest known terrestrial wetland communities. Fossils are preserved as compressions in overbank deposits of a braided fluvial system. Specimens with entire margins and specimens forming extensive crusts provide evidence for in situ preservation, whereas pre-burial cracks in the fossils demonstrate subaerial exposure. Developed in river flood plains that provided the wettest available environments on land at the time, these communities occupied settings similar to present-day riverine wetlands. Compared with the latter, which are continuously wet by virtue of the moisture retention capabilities of soils...

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