Fossil cycad plant (Zamites gigas) - ROM2004_982_25

Cycad fossil, Zamites gigas (Lindley & Hutton), collected 1975

Fossil cycad plant (Zamites gigas)

Place Collected
Europe, UK; England, County of Yorkshire, Whitby
Date: Acquisition Date: 1975
7.5 (H) x 26 (W) x 56 (L) cm
Object number: ROMIP34353
Not on view
DescriptionDuring the Jurassic Period (150 million years ago) rainfall increased and plant life spread to cover areas that had been deserts during the Triassic. The main trees were cycads and their relatives (seen in this large frond), conifers, ginkgos, and seed ferns. The plants underneath the forest canopy were mainly ferns, liverworts, club mosses and horsetails. Plant fossils help us reconstruct the environments the dinosaurs lived in and give us clues as to what they ate. The conditions required to preserve plant material (burial in acid conditions) destroy bone, and vice versa. As a result, actual dinosaur remains are often found separately from fossils of contemporary plants. In addition, the different parts of a plant are often preserved under different conditions, so the leaves, stem, roots, and seeds may not be found associated with each other.
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