Rock Type: Sandy shale
Interval: Coalburg seam
Age: Middle Pennsylvanian Period, approx. 307 million years.
This specimen illustrates the branch foliage of the Calamite tree. Whorls of small leaflets are arranged concentrically around a thin stem. The whorls are often found completely visible (lower right). It is thought this is because the leaf whorls were originally attached at an oblique angle to the stem, and preservation of the complete whorl happened easily and all the time. But as is also shown in this specimen, sometimes only one side is visible (upper left).
Location: Nicholas County, West Virginia; Ramp Run Surface Mine #1, located about 12 miles north of Summersville, West Virginia. Turn west off route 19 north of Summersville onto Spruce Run Road. Follow it out the ridge about 7 miles before veering left down into Buffalo Creek.