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minnbuckeye

ID for Iowa Pennsylvanian Flora Finds

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I joined my fossil club on a spring hunt in a quarry in central Iowa. The vast majority of the exposed bedrock is Devonian, and the goal for most is finding the elusive trilobites. Success was limited on this visit. I had only a dozen partials in my bucket. So after 5 hours of splitting rock, I asked the knowledgeable members about the Pennsylvanian strata that I had read about. They pointed me in the general direction ...up, up, up. they also informed me the exposures were limited to small areas deposited in a valley situation. The glaciers otherwise had removed this strata over most of the area. Sounds like I was going on a wild goose chase! 

      To be honest, finding fossil plants was quite easy. Because of the location, I was very limited to what I could drag down. I am finding it difficult to find proper literature on this group of plant fossils, so I am hoping some help can be had!! 

 

Here are a few typical examples. They are about an inch wide:

 

2017-05-021.thumb.jpg.b47c6a7fb7874632fe7a398151e5731b.jpg 

 

This seems to be something leaf like:

 

2017-05-020.thumb.jpg.ff170d04009df1b247766c693819d8de.jpg

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Next, this looks like some significant bark???2017-05-019.thumb.jpg.d49a0f29f15ab2d34768050b298c0b7b.jpg

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Finally, this piece has what appears to be a branch, Hard to see but the center piece is 3-d oval:

 

DSC_0948-001.thumb.JPG.787adfadbfd55619b66b8c89dcc30853.JPG 

 

 

 I know plant fossils are not too impressive. In fact when I returned to my club members, I think they were more excited about a large rugosa coral that I found. But I am in an area where fossils like these are non existent, so I love to add a few to my collection. Again any help labeling what I discovered would be greatly appreciated.

 

Mike

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plant fossils are awesome,period

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These are pretty cool! I'd certainly be more excited to find Devonian-age plant matter than coral :D

 

I'll have to dig into my archives to locate some literature on central Iowa, and it is more likely someone else will beat me to the punch. :P

 

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No idea on the id but they're nice examples 

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Just more of those suggestively shaped rocks again Mike.  Don't worry, one of these days you'll find something.

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1st 2nd and 4th appear to be calamites to me. The 1st and 4th being the stalk/trunk/branch and the 2nd being the leaves. I'm not sure but the 3rd looks geologic to me.

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7 hours ago, Micah said:

1st 2nd and 4th appear to be calamites to me.

 

Thanks for the suggestion. It was a thought of mine too. But in my limited exposure to fossil plants, I always thought Calamites had Lines perpendicular to the length as shown in this picture. 

 

goepp1.jpg

 

 None of the samples  have this. There are lines but they appear to be postmortem, not perpendicular, and not equally spaced.

 

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Micah,

I think you hit the nail on the head!

Sample Fossils from Ambridge Shown Below: Cordaites leaf fragments

 

Fossil Sphenophyllum leaf clusters from near Pittsburgh.

Cordaites leaf fragments. Notice the numerous "grooves" in the leaves, these are the many parallel veins.
Carboniferous: Pennsylvanian: Glenshaw Formation: Mahoning Shale
Butler Co., PA

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This picture shows shoots of the Cordaites. Could the fern like specimen actually be "fertile shoots" of a chordaites plant??????cordaites-2-h.png

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