Seed Fern Fossil
Cycadophyta, Class Cycadopsida, Order Medullosales, Family Medullosaceae
mm = 1 inch): Matrix: 110 by 80 mm by 30 mm thick
Fire Creek Formation, Dawson County, Coal Country West Virginia - a
locality above Pocahontas coal seam
or seed ferns are a group of extinct plants with mostly fern-like
foliage but having real seeds. They were mostly small trees
but other forms that exhibited climbing growth have been
found. Some forms, notably those called the Medullosales as seen
here had large fronds which could be up several meters long.
Several groups can be distinguished within the Pteridosperms.
evolved in the latest Devonian, and became common in the Carboniferous.
The Medullosalesdominated wetlands during the Westphalian
and persisted into the early Permian before becoming extinct.
This fossil contains frond segments with numerous pinnules of
by leaflets that are nomally blunt at the tips. Note the
shiny look to the specimen that
carbonized film remnant of the original plant tissue. The specimen
comes from the Fire Creek Formation (coal country), West Viginia,
and dates to the Lower Pennsylvanian.