I’ve been inundated with new material over the last few weeks. In addition to our extensive Ordovician collecting, I’ve made two trips to Beckley to collect plant material, and DB and I are planning another trip there this Thursday (all while trying to prepare for my next Carmel Church excavation that starts next week). While Boxley has generously set aside a huge quantity of fossiliferous shale for our purposes, they will eventually have to move it out of their way. Moreover, Beckley weather is such that we only have another week or so before the rock is buried under snow, thus the rush to get as much material back to the museum as possible. The result is that I’ve been bringing new specimens to the museum faster than I can house them, and it’s taking up almost all of my time trying to keep up. Basically, this is a lengthy excuse for going a week with no blog posts.
So, as a stopgap, I wanted to post pictures of two fairly remarkable lycopod specimens we collected on the recent Beckley trips (the bottom image below is the same specimen as at the top of the page, from a different angle):
These appear to be lycopod strobili, or perhaps trunk sections (edit-in fact, they’re roots/rhizomes), but with the leaves still attached. The leaves are the dark linear structures radiating away from the main body. In the lower image it’s actually possible to follow five of the leaves back to their individual circular scars. What is perhaps not as obvious from the images is that these specimens are not flattened, but are preserved three-dimensionally.
I’m going to try to do one more plant update in a few days. On Sunday I head to Carmel Church for about a week, and as usual I’ll be doing daily blog posts as well as updates on my twitter feed.