Fossil Alethopteris from the Coal Measures at Foxley, Tollcross. The British Coal Measures are the deposits of coal formed from the remains of the rainforests which grew in the UK during the Carboniferous Period.
Alethopteris is the name for the foliage of this type of seed fern. Now extinct, seed ferns grew in Scotland between 360 and 290 million years ago during the Carboniferous Period. They varied in size from small plants to trees.
Seed ferns differed from true ferns because they had seeds, whereas true ferns reproduce themselves through minute spores which are situated under the leaves. Alethopteris were one of the first plants to produce seeds.
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Museums
Alethopteris, Carboniferous Period, Coal Measures, coalfields, fossils, geology, plants, rainforests, seed ferns