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SMALL STEM OF GIANT EXTINCT TREE - 300 million years old - Radstock, Somerset

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SMALL STEM OF GIANT TROPICAL LYCOPOD (CLUB MOSS) TREE
   
300 million years old (Carboniferous)
  
Writhlington Colliery, Radstock, Somerset

            

Lepidodendron is a giant club moss (lycopod) that lived during the Carboniferous period and was a large part of the tropical Coal Measures forests. Although some of these trees reached a height of over 30 metres they were really only gigantic herbs and not true trees. Coal is thought to have been formed mostly of the roots of lycopod trees.

  

This specimen was collected in 1986 and has the collector's original hand written paper labels glued on the back. It has been treated with a light lacquer. It is presented in a lidded gift box.

  

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: 8.5 x 5.5 x 1.5 centimetres
Weight: 186 grams

PRICE: £30.00