This is a beautiful fossil leaf (Ginkgo cranei). These are found in the Sentinel Butte Formation of North Dakota.
Superb detail down to the veins in the leaf. It fine detail and the whitish preservation contrasts beautifully against the dark orange-brown Matrix.
The North Dakota Ginkgo Leaf fossil is 1 3/4 long and 1 1/16 wide and exhibits great detail on a piece of matrix 3 1/4 by 3 inches. The location where these are found is quite famous and it doesn’t take very long to find the leaf fossils.
These leaves can be found is a few deposits around the country but live Ginkgo’s still exist today. Ginkgo trees were alive during the Lower Jurassic Period. They reached their peak in the Cretaceous period when several species were alive at that time.
The modern Ginkgo’s are found in great abundance in China but have changed over time. But Ginkgo trees have been planted around the world. Because of the various evolution they are not exactly the same but they are very similar and have changed very little. Usually softer fossils do not fossilize well but in this case you can see very good detail in the leaves right down to the veins in the leaf.
These leaves usually are preserved with a white tint color and the matrix rock is usually broen. Because of the major color difference the North Dakota Ginkgo Leaf stands out nicely. Often when the rock is broken other leaf fossils are on the backside of the rock.