Menat Formation Fossil
The middle Palaeocene Menat fossil site, small outcrop near the southeast of the village of Menat (46°06’ N; 2°54’ E, Menat Basin, Puy-de-Dôme, France), is a volcanic maar containing a rather small paleolake ca. 1 km in diameter, filled with sedimentary rocks (spongo-diatomites) with remains of diverse aquatic and terrestrial flora and fauna (Piton 1940; Nel 1989, 2008; Nel and Roy 1996). The composition of faunal and floral remains suggests that this lake was surrounded by a forest and that the palaeoenvironment was warm and humid (Wedmann et al. 2018). The age of the Menat outcrop was estimated as ca. 59 Ma after pollen, mammalian stratigraphic, and radiometric K/Ar analyses. (Kedves and Russell 1982; Nel 2008). However, a new estimate based on macroflora study postulated its age within 60–61 Ma (Wappler et al. 2009). Several ant morphospecies are present at Menat, but represented by few specimens. (Jouault & Nel, 2021).
Genera known from Menat Formation
Species known from Menat Formation
Location of Formation
- Jouault, C., Nel, A. 2021. The oldest Cenozoic ant fossil: †Tyrannomecia gen. nov. (Formicidae: Myrmeciinae) from the Palaeocene Menat Formation (France). Historical Biology, 1–8 (doi:10.1080/08912963.2021.2010192).