Fossils index

Ferns

Modern ferns

Ferns are plants with true leaves, but without seeds.

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta

Horsetails and ferns are older than flowering plants, and they are still alive today (see left).

Ferns

Timescale: Ferns appeared about 360 million years ago. They are, of course, still with us.


This fern is Pecopteris from the Carboniferous age. It is from Braidwood, Illinois. Size: 40mm

Fern


These ferns are Alethopteris serli, from Radstock, Somerset, from Big Bright's seam coal measures, Upper Carboniferous.
Stone size: 70mm

Fern


Modern Horsetail

Horsetails are related to ferns. There are still horsetails today (see left, found by an English road, and right, in Cambridge Botanic Gardens).

Modern horsetails are quite small, but the ancient horsetails grew very large. Below is a horsetail or Equisetum. It is from the Wadhurst clay, Freshfield Lane Quarry, Sussex. It is from the Cretaceous period.

Fossil size: 60mm

Modern Horsetail

Horsetail



I'm not sure what these last two are!

Stone size: 27mm
Leaves
Stone size: 30mm
Leaves