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Calamites suckowii, fossil horseta

Calamites suckowii, fossil horseta

C021/6953

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Credit

DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Calamites are a genus of now extinct, horsetail plants belonging to the order of the Equisitales. They were arborescent (tree like) plants that could reach heights up to 30 meters, with vertically ribbed stems, partitioned horizontally (like bamboo) by nodes, which have crowns of pin-shaped leaves. They thrived in swamps during the Carboniferous period, 360 to 300 million years ago and contributed significantly to the formation of the massive coal deposits then formed. Calamites suckowii, of which a section of trunk is here displayed, is different from more current types by its prominent, swollen nodes and relatively wide-spaced longitudinal ribs. Actual width of sample is 50 cm, provenance unknown.

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