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Leaves of the fossil seed-fern Glossopteris sp.

Leaves of the fossil seed-fern Glossopteris sp.

E440/0081

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Credit

MARTIN LAND / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARTIN LAND / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

A leaf of the fossil seed-fern Glossopteris sp., a plant associated with continental rocks in the southern hemisphere. The present wide distribution of this fossil in the southern hemisphere is important as evidence for the reconstruction of Gondwanaland, an ancient "supercontinent" composed of present-day South America, Africa, India, Antarctica and Australia. Gondwanaland began to fragment around 150 million years ago, distributing Glossopteris to its residual land masses. This example is from the Permian period, approximately 260 million years ago, and was found in Australia.

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