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Christopher Lloyd's great book What on Earth Evolved? 100 Species that Changed the World, lists Lepidodendron as number eleven! Why so important? It lived during the Carboniferous Period and was a Lycophyte, or club moss. It supposedly grew very fast. Only grew branches at the end of its short life, and died after reproducing once. Because it had no branches the trees could grow very close together. When they died they accumulated in a heap on the forest floor to such a depth that they couldn't totally decay. Instead they fossilized and turned into coal. All of the major coal deposits on the planet are the direct result of this plant. I did not collect this sample. Ed, my fossiling buddy did. All I know is that it comes from someplace in Pennsylvania. The bark itself sits upon a layer of sandstone. The detail in the bark is amazing!
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