An Introduction to Paleobotany by Chester A. Arnold

By Chester A. Arnold

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Pieces of secondary wood and fragments of small stems completely infiltrated with pyrites are scattered sparingly among the lenses of the Tully pyrite and the underlying Ludlowville shale of upper Middle Devonian (Hamilton) age in western AN INTRODUCTION 38 TO PALEOBOTANY New York. Although iron pyrites is probably the most prevalent of all petrifying minerals, plant material so preserved is often of limited use because of difficulties in microscopic study. THE RELATIVE VALUE OF COMPRESSIONS AND PETRIFACTIONS Although petrifactions have been of immense value in paleobotanical researches in revealing the internal make-up of extinct plants, we are mainly dependent upon compressions and casts for external form and Compressions and petrifactions are seldom found together, with the result that correlation of external and internal morphology often habit.

These have received such names as The latter has been* reported Puccinites, Aecid-ites, and Teleutosporitcs. son number of the upon a Carboniferous Lepidodendron, although the identity is too uncertain to constitute sound evidence of a Carboniferous rust. Sporophores of the bracket fungi occur occasionally in the Cenozoic, parasitic, and a fossil "earth star," Tertiary of central Colorado. Geasterlies florissantensis, came from the THE NON VASCULAR PLANTS 45 Among the Fungi Imperfect! Pestalozzites, so named because of its resemblance to Pestalozzia, occurs on Miocene palm leaves.

Depreciate the scientific value of compressions is unjustified and ignores the important fact that in most instances neither type of preservation itself reveals all the characteristics of the plant. A paleobotanist by cannot afford to disregard compressions any more than one can overlook habit and leaf form in living plants. OBJECTS SOMBTI^ES MISTAKEN FOR PLANT FOSSILS Animal remains, inorganic objects such as concretions, and cultural The resemblance to a objects are sometimes mistaken for plant fossils.

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