MARTIN LAND / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARTIN LAND / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A frond of the fossil cycad Nilssonia compta (Phillips). This plant became incorporated among sands deposited in a large delta that formerly lay over Yorkshire. Conditions in this delta closely matched those experienced in the earlier Coal Measure Times, with thin coals (not subsequently commercially exploited) laid in the Yorkshire Deltaic Beds. Cycads like Nilssonia shared their world with the dinosaurs and were abundant before the arrival of the flowering plants. This example is from the Jurassic period, approximately 180 million years ago, and was collected in Gristhorpe Bay, Yorkshire.
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