Zamites Cycadeoid Fossil
Spermatophyta, Class: Spermatopsida, Order Bennettitales, Family
Time: Late Jurassic Kimmeridgian Stage
is 190 mm
Site: Solnhofen Limestone Lagerstätte, Brunn,
Presented is an unusual and rare cycad plant frond from the lithographic
Solnhofen limestone deposits. According to my Solnhofen source,
only about 1-3% of these fossil cycadeoid fronds have the tip preserved.
Evidently, due to seasonal adaptations the tip generally detached
from the frond.
The frond comes from the Brunn quarry, where most of the Solnhofen
plant finds have been discovered. Terrestrial plant fossils support
the premise that the Solnhofen Jurassic lagoons were adjacent to
a large land mass. According to my understanding, this quarry is
run by an educational institution. Once a year they sell a few
of their finds at a German fossil show to raise money to support
their institution. Of all the Solnhofen fossils collection sites,
fossil cycads are only discovered at this one quarry in Brunn.
These 150 million year old deposits are famous for their exceptionally
well-preserved organisms, the most famous
of which are the handful of specimens of the ancient bird Archaeopteryx.
Bennettitales (the cycadeoids) is an extinct order of seed plants
that first appeared in the Triassic period and became extinct toward
the end of the Cretaceous, thus existing from around 250 to
70 million years ago). Some were characterized by thick trunks
compound leaves that bore a superficial resemblance to those of
see: Solnhofen Fossils
fossil pictures to enlarge