Coal fossil

Like many a young lad I was always fascinated by ancient things and the one type that could sometimes be found was a fossil. As a child, fossils I found were in chalk so consisted of sea shells or the imprint of where a seashell had been. I’m afraid I never fulfilled a childhood dream of finding a trilobite. But I do have ammonites and maybe they’ll get a blog airing sometime.

I have alluded to coal fossils before when I wrote a bit about the Somerset coal field. I do have some fossils that I found on spoil tips near the old Kilmersdon and Writhlington collieries.

Whereas chalk is made of fossilised sea creatures, coal is fossilised plant material. The so called fossils I have are leaf imprints formed as tree ferns, something akin to a giant version of our garden weed the horsetail or mares tail, got slowly squeezed into coal by the weight of debris falling on top. I think these marks are exceedingly beautiful.

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Let’s enlarge a bit of that.

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The veins on these fronds which were living plants about 300 million years ago show up so well.

Just fantastic!

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