Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Fossil week, day 2

This one is one of my favorites - a pith cast of Calamites, the ancient horsetail tree. (Compare to images here and here.)

Like the fossils from yesterday, it's about 300 million years old.

Most of north central Alabama's fossils are from this Carboniferous period. (Map.) Here is a nice color-coded map for the whole US. (You can see part of Canada as well, although as usual it's shaded darker, as if nobody ever goes up there.)

My bad mistake with this fossil was not noting where I found it. But I believe it was either at my in-laws' old lake house (Smith Lake, Winston county) or at one of our old birdwatching spots (Jefferson county).


pablo said...

That looks a great deal like a fossil I found at Roundrock last weekend. I couldn't get any idea of what it was, but this image of yours gives me a lead to chase down. THANX!

Wayne said...

To have a calamites from the carboniferous is one of my dreams. I'm not kidding, and I've got the blog words to prove it.

Congratulations on a beautiful piece!

Hick said...

Wowsers! Another picture for Nerd's collection.

By the way...he wears his head flashlight around his neck most of the day because of all the snow we are getting and the general propensity for the power to go out when it snows. Hope you enjoy yours.

Rexroth's Daughter said...

What a fantastic find. Isn't it an amazing thing to hold something in your hands that's 300 million years old. I just love fossils, and I'm really appreciating seeing yours. Thank you!

Ron Sullivan said...


That's all.

Clare said...

Very nice, I love fossils, and the idea that I'm touching something that lived millions of years before, perhaps the only person to ever laid eyes on the particular plant/animal.

And it's not the map. It is darker in Canada. Mwu Haha.

Floridacracker said...

My horsetails are alive :)

JLLove said...

Love fossils - pictures from an ancient past. Why some would deny the wonder of how old and persistent life is I do not understand.
NE Ala, NW Ga and TN are old stomping grounds. One of the most lovely rivers I've seen runs down the top of a mountain that starts up by Chattanooga and diagonals down toward Birmingham.

Rurality said...

Pablo & Wayne I await your fossil posts and hope they come soon. :)

Hick it's the best thing for after-dark chicken checking & egg collection!

RD, yeah it is! I have to say I've gotten more interested in fossils just since starting to write this series.

Thanks Ron!

Clare, I always knew there was something about Canada...!

FC, same family. Amazing when you think about it.

JLL if I knew more about rivers I'd probably know which one you were talking about. (Hangs head in shame!)