Stigmaria Fossil Root of Lycopsid Tree

Stigmaria (form taxon)

Division Lycopodiophyta, Class Isoetopsida, Order Lepidodendrales

Geological Time: Middle Pennsylvanian

Size: Fossil is ~ 4.7 by 2.7 inches

Fossil Site: Pocahontas Formation, West Virginia

Code: ZPL141

Price: Sold

Stigmaria Description: Stigmaria is a form genus for tree roots of Carboniferous coal forest Lycopod trees such as Sigillaria and Lepidodendron. So, is this one mineral or bituminous coal? Yes. It did, in part, start the transformation to coal.

Lycopodiophyta appear in the fossil record in the Silurian in conjunction with many other vascular plants, and led to the trees thatcale Tree would dominate the equitorial landscape in the Mississipian and Pennsylvanian periods. North America was at the equator during the Carboniferous (290 to 359 million years ago). There were extensive, hot and swampy forests with Pteridospermatophyta (seed ferns) and huge Carboniferous Forest SwampLycopodiophyta trees, Sigillaria and Lepidodendron, some on the order of 30 meters tall with trunks a meter or more thick. Unlike modern trees, lycopid tree leaves grew along the full extent of the trunk and branches, falling off as the plant grew, leaving but a small cluster of leaves at the top. These forests became the coal seams we mine for fuel in moderm times. Stigmaria is the name given to fossil roots of the various tree species of the Carboniferous. Stigmaria are often impregnated with coal, or have coal sticking to their surface. Note the round nodes on the surface of this fossil, which is where small roots grew out in all radial directions.

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