and Neuropteris Seed Fern Fossils
Cycadophyta, Class Cycadopsida, Order Medullosales, Family Medullosaceae
mm = 1 inch): Eusphenopteri matix is 105 mm across at widest diagonal;
Neuropteris is 75 mm across at widest diagonal
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 Medullosales appeared in the late Mississippian where they
dominated wetlands, and persisted into the early Permian before
are two different seed ferns from the same site.
right is Neuropteris with frond segments having numerous
pinnules, a seed fern genus charactrerized by rounded leaflets
that are nomally blunt at the tips. To the left is Euspenopteris,
a seed fern genus characterized by smallers and more delicate
round-lobed leaflets. The specimens come
the Fire Creek Formation (coal country),
and dates to the Lower Pennsylvanian.