Seed Fern and Clubmoss Fossils Association

Lycopodium sp.

Division Lycopodiophyta, Class Lycopodiopsida, Order Lycopodiales, Family Lycopodiaceae

Neuropteris sp.

Division Cycadophyta, Class Cycadopsida, Order Medullosales, Family Medullosaceae

Geological Time: Lower Pennsylvanian

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Plant fossil matrix is 145 mm across at widest

Fossil Site: Fire Creek Formation, Dawson County, Coal Country West Virginia - a new locality above Pocahontas coal seam

Code: FC71

Price: $55.00, reduced to $40

Seed Fern and Clubmoss FossilsDuring most of the Pennsylvanian (325 to 286 million years ago), long before the dinosaurs, a large portion of North America supported lush, swampy forests. Lycopods made up the largest component of these forests and achieved gigantic size, growing to heights of more than 130 feet with supporting trunks measuring up to 6 feet or more in diameter. These plants are also called "scale trees" because of the distinctive diamond-shaped leaf scars that cover their outer bark midsection. Neuropteris, Sphenopteris, and Lyginopteris were three of the many of genera of pteridosperms or seed ferns. The seed ferns had undergone a large radiation, and many, many species existed, most of which have not been scientifically described in the fossil record. Now extinct, these diverse plants had foliage closely resembling that of modern ferns, but they reproduced by means of seeds rather than spores as modern ferns do today. The period from the Mississippian through the Pennsylvanian isModern Lycopodium often called the Age of Ferns.

Growing in the shade of the immense tree ferns were herbaceous, spore-producing plants, the Lycopodiales like the fossil plants you see here. These primitive plants that are believed to have first appeared in the Devonian have extant relatives commonly called club mosses - an example of a modern species is shown to the right.

The Lycopodiales and Neuropteris leaflets here are from a new locality, recently determined by scientists to be part of the Fire Creek Formation, located in Southeastern West Virginia (the formation overlays the Pocahontas Formation that also contains a prominent coal seam). The pictures attest to the fine preservation. This Lycopodia genus of plant is very uncommon in the formation. The Lycopod leafs here are in association with Neuropteris leaflets of undescribed species.

Plant Fossil Sales
Lycopodium sp.
Neuropteris sp.


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