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Herbert W. Meyer

Herbert W. Meyer
National Park Service -- Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, Colorado · Paleontology

PhD

About

64
Publications
14,554
Reads
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774
Citations
Citations since 2017
28 Research Items
309 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230102030405060
20172018201920202021202220230102030405060
20172018201920202021202220230102030405060
Additional affiliations
June 2003 - present
University of Colorado Boulder
Position
  • Adjunct Curator
December 1994 - present
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Position
  • Research Associate
August 1994 - present
National Park Service
Position
  • Paleontologist
Education
May 1980 - May 1986
University of California, Berkeley
Field of study
  • Paleontology
January 1977 - May 1980
University of California, Berkeley
Field of study
  • Paleontology

Publications

Publications (64)
Book
In the summer of 1969, a federal district court in Denver, Colorado, heard arguments in one of the nation's first explicitly environmental cases, in which the Defenders of Florissant, Inc. opposed real estate interests intent on developing lands containing an extraordinary set of ancient fossils. This book, the first account of the fight to preserv...
Article
A previous method for determining paleoaltitude from fossil floras has used the difference between sea level and upland paleotemperatures, which is then multiplied by the reciprocal of a “normal” lapse rate. The present study examines other variables that can significantly influence such results. Terrestrial lapse rates have been calculated for 39...
Article
Full-text available
Leaves are the most abundant and visible plant organ, both in the modern world and the fossil record. Identifying foliage to the correct plant family based on leaf architecture is a fundamental botanical skill that is also critical for isolated fossil leaves, which often, especially in the Cenozoic, represent extinct genera and species from extant...
Article
We tested the sensitivity of paleoclimate estimates to different resolutions of leaf morphotype distinction by grouping one paleofloral collection three ways and comparing the results. We examined the different morphotype resolutions using a recently collected Eocene (34 Ma) fossil leaf assemblage from Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument Colle...
Article
Full-text available
El Bosque Petrificado Piedra Chamana, cerca del pueblo de Sexi en Cajamarca, registra la vegetación de los trópicos de Sudamérica de hace 39 millones de años, la que existió en los inicios de la historia de los bosques tropicales del Nuevo Mundo y antes del levantamiento de los Andes. En este bosque, descubrimientos notables incluyen el manglar del...
Preprint
Full-text available
This contribution presents descriptions of 14 fossil woods from the Piedra Chamana Fossil Forest in Peru, an assemblage of fossil woods and leaves dated at 39 Ma (late Middle Eocene). It is part two of the descriptions of the non-monocot angiosperm fossils from the site (see Woodcock et al. 2017). The woods are assigned to the subfamilies Bombacoid...
Article
Plant wax n-alkanes are valuable paleoclimate proxies because their carbon (δ¹³C) and hydrogen (δ²H) isotopes track biological and environmental processes. Angiosperms produce higher concentrations of n-alkanes than conifers, with some exceptions. Vegetation source is significant because in similar climates, both taxa produce n-alkanes with unique...
Article
Full-text available
Background and aims: The Piedra Chamana fossil forest in northern Peru is an assemblage of angiosperm woods and leaves preserved in volcaniclastic rocks dated at 39 Ma (late Middle Eocene). We analyzed anatomical and morphological features of the fossils to reconstruct the paleoenvironment during this time of global warmth, taking advantage of the...
Article
The uppermost Eocene lacustrine Florissant Formation in central Colorado preserves a diverse flora and fauna at a key time in Earth history immediately preceding the Eocene-Oligocene boundary. Laminated shales in the Florissant Formation record impression fossils of woody non-monocot angiosperm leaves that were used to estimate paleoecological and...
Article
Leaf carbon isotope fractionation (Δleaf) is sensitive to environmental conditions and can provide insights into the state and evolution of leaf gas-exchange in response to climate and environment factors. In modern plants, water availability is the strongest environmental predictor of Δleaf across sites that experience relatively uniform and low c...
Preprint
Full-text available
The uppermost Eocene Florissant Formation of central Colorado, U.S.A. contains a diverse flora and fauna preserved in lacustrine facies and represents a key episode in Earth history immediately preceding the Eocene-Oligocene boundary. Laminated shales contain impressions of non-monocot angiosperm leaves that were used to estimate paleoecological an...
Chapter
The assessment, conservation, scientific research, and interpretation of palaeontological resources at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument demonstrate a multifaceted approach to effective geoheritage management by the United States National Park Service. Assessment of palaeontological assets includes routine inventory and monitoring of fossil...
Poster
Full-text available
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument implemented an Inventorying and Monitoring (I&M) program in 1992 to document the cyclic (typically annual or biennial) condition of fossil sites. This is done by taking photos and evaluating scored criteria to quantify site condition (scores above 90 rated as good). It has been the longest ongoing project fo...
Article
The freshwater molluscan assemblage from the uppermost Eocene Florissant Formation (34.07 ± 0.10 Ma), Colorado, USA, provides a reliable proxy in reconstructing past ecology and environmental characteristics of ancient Lake Florissant. In particular, stable-isotope analyses of aragonitic shell material contribute to our understanding of the paleohy...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Paleofloras of western North America provide evidence for forest responses to the significant cooling during the Eocene-Oligocene transition. Floras of late Eocene age range from broadleaved evergreen and paratropical rain forests of the Pacific coast lowlands to warm temperate upland forests in the continental interior. Late Eocene upland floras s...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument (FLFO), a relatively small unit within the National Park Service, is striving to provide cutting edge digital content to its visitors. These efforts include a touchscreen kiosk in the Visitors Center to greatly expand the amount of information available to visitors. The kiosk allows users to choose content,...
Article
Full-text available
To study how lacustrine depositional environments influence the preservation of insects, the abundance, size, and quality of insect specimens were compared across shale, mudstone, and siltstone within the Florissant Formation of Colorado. These lithologies were chosen because they reflect differences in associated energy, grain size, and presence o...
Article
Full-text available
A fossil wood with features similar to those of the Oligocene Hovenia palaeodulcis Suzuki (Rhamnaceae) from Japan is described from the late Eocene Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, Colorado, U.S.A. This is the first report of fossil wood of this Asian genus in North America and is further documentation of Tertiary exchange between East Asi...
Article
Full-text available
The fossil floras of south-western Montana, U.S.A. contain an important record of climate and biotic change in the northern Rocky Mountains across the Eocene/Oligocene transition. Palaeogene climate and biotic evolution in the northern Rocky Mountains is poorly known compared to central/southern Rocky Mountains (Florissant) and Pacific coast (Bridg...
Article
Full-text available
Volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks in the northern Peruvian Andes (central Cajamarca, 79°10′ W, 6°35′ S) contain a diverse assemblage of permineralized woods known as El Bosque Petrificado Piedra Chamana. The fossil forest and associated paleosol are preserved in ash-fall and lahar deposits of the Huambos Formation. Dating of plagioclase from the as...
Article
Full-text available
We used higher taxonomic composition of 241 modern forest plots from across the New World to identify the closest modern analog of the Florissant fossil flora and to infer Late Eocene paleotemperature for Florissant. Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMS) based on both genus and family presence-absence placed Florissant in a no-analog taxonomic...
Article
Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) of insect and plant fossils in the lacustrine shales of the Eocene Florissant Formation of Florissant, Colorado, was used to investigate the mechanisms of fossil preservation. The fossiliferous Florissant "paper shales" are composed of thin laminae of diatomite that form couplets with alternating smec-titic clay l...
Article
Full-text available
Paleontological studies at Florissant have been ongoing for more than 13 decades. As the focus of these studies has shifted through this time, the site has provided important insights into the evolution of paleontology as a science from its beginnings in the nineteenth century through its subsequent development. Early studies focused on the descrip...
Article
Full-text available
The biogeographic affinities of the Florissant flora are in need of reevaluation. We give a critical review, based on megafossil and pollen records representing genera whose affinities we accept as well founded. The Florissant assemblage includes taxa of diverse modern geographic distribution. The flora is composed mainly of Laurasian elements, som...
Article
Full-text available
A detailed survey of collections and publications for the Florissant fossil beds (Colorado, USA) forms the basis for developing a new relational database and Web site that documents information that had become widely scattered following 130 years of scientific study at Florissant. More than 1700 species that remain valid, mostly of plants, insects,...
Chapter
One widely-applied method for estimating paleoelevation from fossil floras uses the relation between vegetation and temperature to estimate mean annual temperature from two isochronous fossil assemblages (one at elevation and one at or near sea level), and the difference between these temperatures is multiplied by the reciprocal of a temperature la...
Article
Full-text available
Silicified stumps at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument are subject to degradation from a variety of causes including freeze-thaw weathering. In the past, noninvasive measures have been taken to conserve selected fossils, including use of metal bands for reinforcement and construction of shelters. Our study had two goals. The first was to doc...
Chapter
The early Oligocene Bridge Creek flora of the John Day Formation in Oregon, USA, is an example of the broad-leaved deciduous vegetation that became widespread in the Northern Hemisphere following the Eocene-Oligocene climatic cooling, and demonstrates the significant participation of Metasequoia Miki in newly-developing communities analogous to the...
Article
Full-text available
This field trip in the vicinity of the Florissant fossil beds includes five stops that examine the Precambrian Cripple Creek Granite and Pikes Peak Granite, and the late Eocene Wall Mountain Tuff, Thirtynine Mile Andesite lahars, and Florissant Formation. The Cripple Creek Granite and Pikes Peak Granite formed in batholiths ca. 1.46 and 1.08 Ga, re...

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