Fossilized frond of the seed fern Mariopteris sp.

Fossilized frond of the seed fern Mariopteris sp.

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Credit: MARTIN LAND/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Fossilized frond of the seed fern Mariopteris sp.. The seed ferns differed from the more primitive true ferns by possessing seeds and not spores. Although their foliage resembles that of the true ferns, seed ferns rank among the simplest of the spermatophyta - the group containing the conifers and flowering plants. Such plant remains contributed greatly to the formation of coal. This specimen would have lived in the steamy, dark swamps that once covered large areas of the U.K. This specimen is from the Carboniferous period, some 300 million years ago, and was found in Radstock, Somerset, U.K.

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Keywords: fern, fossil, fossils, mariopteris sp., palaeontology, paleontology, plant, plants

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