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Carboniferous plant fossils from Sydney Mines, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada


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Hi all,


My friends recently visited Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia. While they were there they went on a fossil hunt with a geologist who curates the local museum. 

They were told that they could collect the small, loose stuff, and so brought back plenty of nice fossils. 

They gave a couple specimens to me, and I’m just wondering about  IDing them. There are a lot of Calamites fossils among what they brought back, but I’m having trouble with the rest. I live in the Ordovician and don’t have a lot of experience with Carboniferous flora except finding a few pretties in Pittsburgh. :plant:


First pic (1) has what they were told is an early seed cone. Can anyone corroborate and specify species? I was looking at Lepidostrobus but the shape seems different. 

Second pic (2) is one of the fossils they gave me. They thought that the top left might be part of a seed cone but I think it’s Annularia. Thoughts? And are those oval-shaped leaves Pecopteris ? Alethopteris 

And just for fun, I’ll add a couple more pictures (see comments) if anyone wants to have at it. 

Anyways, thanks!



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Sorry for all the comments, i’m Having a tough time editing the photos to get the file size small enough. 


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1. Cone structure of a calamites.

4. Sphenophyllum whorl (smaller), Neuropteris leaf

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Here is my take on your finds:


FAF9BF28-627F-4551-869A-BC8DEF30C22A.thumb.png.1373d2ddc6b53affae36ed2d01bbaeea.jpg   B8A2C02C-647A-496E-825A-B5A3C111D711.thumb.png.7a4a35d142d74a6faa2fa241f889138f.jpg


3C1D3AF1-9CE2-4A16-8A9F-38FA8D10DAA2.thumb.png.e1928ff4ce8a645e4740d8d6a5febacc.jpg   67B52130-B134-41BC-AD74-300477A88FA0.thumb.png.35472b7ea8ec45908c8e5e255491d3c0.jpg


For reference:



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I broadly agree with Tim's IDs (Fossildude19, that is, it'd be reduntant to write this about my own). I also wholeheartedly agree with the remark that the nervation is not visible, altogether preventing detailed identification. Based on the current photographs, I'd say that one of the imprints labelled Cordaites, isn't Cordaites, for I believe to recognize a frond structure there (roughly indicated in blue in the annotated figure). The calamite might indeed be a cone, e.g. something like Macrostachya. Sharper image with scale might help here.





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4 hours ago, Rockwood said:

Calamites growth tip ?

Wouldn't the nodes be more pronounced toward the wider end ?



You are probably correct.  They would. 

I thought I was seeing nodes, due to the blurry nature of the picture, btu, ...  I am likely wrong.  :blush: Wouldn't be the first time. 

Lack of scale in the pictures is not helping much, either. :( 

It probably is a Calamites cone, as initially pointed out by you, and further supported by Tim. (Paleoflor) 

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Wow, thanks! Those annotations and diagrams are very helpful! 

I didn’t have a ruler or coin for scale, but when I visit my friend later this week I’ll try to get some better photos with a ruler and better light. Sorry about that. 

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