Representing the root of ancient Lycopod trees, stigmaria ficoides are fossil casts composed of sandstone, flattened to various degrees, covered by a thin carbon film.
Following death of the Lycopod tree, sand and mud occassionally found their way into the pithy cavities of the trunk and roots before compaction occured, thereby preserving their structure and detail.
Generally, when stigmaria specimens are found with a round, symmetrical cross-section it is because they originated near to or attached to the base of the trunk. Away from the trunk, the root systems lay more horizontal and specimens were flattened more during compaction by accumulating sediments.
Rock Type: Sandstone
Interval: Coalburg seam
Age: Middle Pennsylvanian Period, approx. 307 million years.
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 about 7 miles. It is now mostly reclaimed, but collecting is still good along the exposed rock rip-rap outslope of the sediment ditch along Buffalo Creek.