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Silsden Paleobotany EarthCache

Hidden : 06/13/2018
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Size: Size:   other (other)

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Geocache Description:

Paleobotany is the study of plants, dealing with their identification of plant remains from the geology, which then aids in the understanding of what the past enviroment was like. 

So lets be a Paleobotanist. 

The rocks that you can see around you are a sandstone, which was laid down in the carboniferous era, which was a time when the north of England was covered by a vast river delta, similar to the Amazon or Mississipi deltas that we have today. Large amounts of sediment were carried downstream and deposited, which over time became sandstone. Included in the material that we washed downstream was plant remains. 

Plants you may have found in the Carboniferous:


Calamites  were a genus of  extinct tree-like horsetails to which the modern horsetails are closely related. These plants were medium-sized trees, growing to heights of more than 30 meters (100 feet).  The trunks of Calamites had a distinctive segmented, bamboo like appearance and vertical ribbing. The branches, leaves and cones were all borne in whorls. The leaves were needle-shaped, with up to 25 per whorl. 



The Lepidodendron tree, also known as the scale tree, was an extinct primitive plant related to the club mosses which sometimes reached heights of over 30 metres. They thrived during the Carboniferous Period before going extinct. They had tall, thick trunks that rarely branched and were topped with a crown of branches bearing clusters of leaves . These leaves were long and narrow, similar to large blades of grass, and were spirally-arranged. The closely packed diamond-shaped leaf scars left on the trunk and stems as the plant grew provide some of the most interesting and common fossils in Carboniferous deposits.

Image result for lepidodendron


Ferns are still about today, and indeed you may see some if you are up here in summer.

Image result for fossil ferns

This being an EarthCache, in order to log it, I ask that you answer some questions. Please send them to me, and do not include them in your log. You can send them to me by using the message facility or email, both of which can be found by looking at my profile. It is not meant to be difficult to do.

So at the listed co-ordinates there is a plant fossil.

1. Please describe the location of the plant fossil, is it on the upper, lower, or side aspects of the rock outcrop?

2. How wide is the plant fossil? 

3. Please describe the plant fossil, what does it feel like, what does it look like, how wide is it?

4. What direction does the rock outcrop face towards, please tell me in the context of north, south, east, or west?

5. Please describe the colour and general feel of the rock outcrop. 

6. What type of plant fossil is it?

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