Alethopteris lonchitica

This plant collected in 1992 represents the frond tip of the seed fern Alethopteris lonchitica.. It is part of the specimen WV-124a, although not found physically attached to it.

This specimen shows how certain mature leaves begin to sprout pinnules when they attain a certain size. These multi-pinnule leaflets will continue to grow and divide into ever-increasing multi-leaflet fronds.

Rock Type: Sandy shale
Formation: Kanawha
Interval: Coalburg seam
Age: Middle Pennsylvanian Period, approx. 307 million years.

View close-up.

Location: Nicholas County, West Virginia; G&W Surface Mine, located about 10 miles north of Summersville, West Virginia, just east of Route 19. It is reclaimed now, but fossils can still be found in the rock drainage channels visible from the highway.