JOHN READER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN READER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Composite photograph of fossil plants. In the centre is a portrait of the Welsh naturalist Edward Lhwyd who published a book, seen here, called Lithophylacii Britannici Ichnographia (A Picture Book of British Preserved Rock) published in 1699. The book featured many fossils from the Coal Measures, where much evidence of the Earth's early vegetation is preserved. Two fossil plants are visible at top left & right preserved in rock. In between is a fern, a modern day equivalent. Lhwyd could not explain how fossils were formed but considered they were freaks of nature - accidentally formed by natural processes.
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