Ecosystem Reconstructions

Jehol Forest Floor

Forest floor, Yixian Formation, Early Cretaceous, Liaoning China. On this shallow, eroding, slope the canopy trees (Pityocladus/Schizolepis: seen as fallen log with attached leaves all the way to right, Baiera, Liaoningocladus) have been frequently disturbed, and pioneers like tree ferns (Cladophlebis spp.) and bennettites (Tyrmia acrodonta) have sprung up. The understory includes the ferns Eboracia lobifolia, Coniopteris burejensis, Bortrychites reheensis, and the moss Muscites tenellus.

Displaying Aurornis in Thicket

Here are a pair of Aurornis xui, the male displaying to the female. This is from the Tiaojishan Formation, Late Jurassic, Liaoning China. It is a seasonally dry woodland dominated by bennettites and cycads. To the left is Pterophyllum festum, an arborescent bennettite. The trunk is Bucklandia type. To the right is the cycad Ctenis leeiana. The leaf litter includes both and also Schizolepis sp. and Cycadolepis sp.


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