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LEAVES OF EXTINCT HORSETAIL - 300 million years old - Radstock, Somerset

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Home > FOSSILS > FOSSILISED WOOD AND PLANTS
 
LEAVES OF EXTINCT HORSETAIL
   
300 million years old (Carboniferous)
  
Writhlington Colliery, Radstock, Somerset

  

Sphenophyllum is a herbaceous horsetail with slender, vine-like stems and small, triangular leaves. Sphenophyllum lived during the Carboniferous period in the tropical Coal Measures forests.

  

This specimen has the frond of a seed fern on the reverse. It was collected in 1987.

  

Radstock is a classic area for studying the plants that were living in Britain at this time. A diverse range of fossils were found on the coal tips up until closure of the last colliery in the 1970s, although further fossils did turn up when the tips were reworked for coal in the 1980s.

  

THE COAL MEASURES FORESTS

In the Carboniferous period Britain was situated near the equator and covered by dense tropical rain forest with giant trees and strange fern-like plants. Much of this vegetation became layers of coal, but some plants left impressions in mud which hardened into stone. 

Flowering plants had not yet evolved and the dominant vegetation was giant clubmosses, horsetails and seed ferns growing on the banks of the coal-forming swamps. Animal life at the time was dominated by insects which included dragonflies with a two-metre wingspan. 

Click on a picture for a larger image

Size: 11 x 7 x 1 centimetres
Weight: 164 grams

PRICE: £36.00
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LEAVES OF EXTINCT HORSETAIL -  300 million years old  -  Radstock, Somerset
LEAVES OF EXTINCT HORSETAIL -  300 million years old  -  Radstock, Somerset LEAVES OF EXTINCT HORSETAIL -  300 million years old  -  Radstock, Somerset LEAVES OF EXTINCT HORSETAIL -  300 million years old  -  Radstock, Somerset LEAVES OF EXTINCT HORSETAIL -  300 million years old  -  Radstock, Somerset