HERVE CONGE, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HERVE CONGE, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Fern fossil. Rock containing fossilised fronds of a Neuropteris cordata fern. Neuropteris is a genus created to account for a type of pteridosperm (seed fern) leaf that appeared in fossil form detached from the original plant. The leaves are found on plants such as Medullosa, an arboreal form of seed fern. Neuropteris is typical of the Upper Carboniferous period (325 to 290 million years ago) and is widespread in European and North American rock layers. This fern is found only in fossil form having been made extinct. Fossils appear when rock forms around objects that have been buried in mud. As the rock forms, the anatomy of buried plants and animals can be preserved. Fossil from Monceaux-les-Mines, France.
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