Fossil ferns: Senftenbergia and Sphenopteris

Fossil ferns: Senftenbergia and Sphenopteris


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Fern fossils. View of the fossilised leaves of two ferns, Senftenbergia sp. and Sphenopteris sp. At lower left are the dark leaves of Senftenbergia, divided into pinnules. Senftenbergia was an extinct genus representing the earliest known form of the Schizaeaceae fern family, with species such as this one known from the European Carboniferous era some 300 million years ago. At right are the simpler leaves of Sphenopteris, a genus of ferns of diverse form which coexisted with Senftenbergia at this time as a small herbaceous shrub in forests, marshes, by the sea, and fresh inland waters. These fossils were found in Germany. Magnification: life-size at 4x5 inch size.

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