Neuropteris scheuchzeri Seed Fern Fossil from Oklahoma

Neuropteris scheuchzeri (Seed Fern)

(Hoffmann 1826)

Division Cycadophyta, Class Cycadopsida, Order Medullosales, Family Medullosaceaee

Geological Time : Pennsylvanian

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Cardboard mounting is 130 by 135 mm

Fossil Site: Porter, Oklahoma

Code: ZPL101

Price: $95.00

Description: Neuropteris is an extinct seed fern that was widespread during the Carboniferous. Neuropteris fossils are also found worldwide. It is commonly found where coal formed. A member of Cycadophyta Order Medullosales, they are believed most closely related to modern day cycads.

During most of the Pennsylvanian (325 to 286 million years ago), a Carboniferous Forectlarge 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 genus 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 is often called the Age of Ferns.

This fossil comes from a very old collection, some 50 to 60 years old, the plant fossil collection of a man and wife who combed more than 100 plant fossil sites, almost all west of the Mississippi River. No doubt, some of these sites have been subsumed by strip malls, and urban sprawl, or are otherwise no longer open to collecting. There was no Internet for these amateur collectors to research their treasures, so many remain unidentified. As is apparent, this one was mounted the old fashion way, and very neatly lettered; I've left it as is.

Also see a Cordaites gymnosperm fossil from the same Porter, Oklahoma site.

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