Here is an amazingly well preserved Carboniferous Era Mazon Creek Fern Leaf. Pecopteris is a prehistoric plant genus of fossil seed fern that developed in the period around 360 to 300 million years ago. It is from the famous coal mining areas of Pennsylvania. There are several species of Ferns found in the fossil floral record.
The Carboniferous Period of Illinois was mostly a hot steamy jungle and swamps. The plants and animals were buried in sediment without much Oxygen and began to fossilize.
The Carboniferous Mazon Creek Fern fossil was found within the sediments of discarded rock. Because it was of no use to the coal companies it was tossed onto a pile of unusable rock. The shale is formed when fern leaves fall to the ground and are quickly covered by sediment. Because of the low level of oxygen the leaves are preserved as impressions. But these fossils are not the actual plant. The plant has long since decomposed leaving the impression in an ironstone nodule..
This Carboniferous Era Mazon Creek Fern fossil displays beautifully. The fern impressions set off nicely from the brown nodule. This Fern comes in this handsome black leatherette case.
Illinois is famous for these fossils but the areas where they were collected is now off-limits and private property. Because of this they are harder to obtain. Coal mining activity these were brought to the surface but discarded because they had no value to the coal miners..