Pecopteris Fern Fossil
From Pleasantville Mountain, Somerset Co., Pennsylvania, USA
Pennsylvanian - Carboniferous (323.2 -298.9 million years ago)
Fern leaves called Pecopteris grew abundantly in the coal swamps of the Carboniferous Period. These leaves dropped off of a 35 foot fern tree called “Psaronius“, one of the most common Paleozoic types. With its sparse and expansive branches, it resembled the modern day palm tree. It produced as many as 7000 spores on the underside of its leaves. These samples are well preserved in gray coal shale as many Carboniferous leaf fossils.
Phylum: Pteridophtya (meaning vascular plant with transport system for nutrients and fluids)
Class: Filicopsida (Ferns which reproduce with spores)
Order: Marattiales (primitive ferns)