Rare Calamites Cone With Preserved Details

Name: Calamostachys schimper

Division: Equisetophyta; Class: Equisetopsida; Order: Equisetales; Family: Calamitaceae

Geological Time: Carboniferous Westphalian C, (~310 million years old)

Size: 38 mm long by 8 mm wide Matrix: 60 mm by 43 mm

Fossil Site: Lower Block Shale, Crawford County, Indiana

This is a cone (or reproductive organ) of a member of the extinct genus Calamites. Whorls of small leaflets are arranged concentrically around a thin stem and are called Annularia or Asterophyllites. Calamites itself is the name originally given to a stem section, but now applies to the entire plant. These plants thumid to hrived in wet habitats such as along rivers and lake shores. Entire cones are found quite infrequently, making this a most unusual fossil with the bracts and sporangia quite evident. They are related to the sphenophytes such as the extant horsetail Equisetum.

The genus Calamites is placed in the plant division Equisetophyta, which was previously known as Sphenophyta), and in the family Calamitaceae. Calamites became extinct in the Lower Permian.

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