Calamites cisti

Calamites lived along the banks of meandering river channels, perhaps representing a type of first-order succession of tree-like plants in the deltaic ecosystems of 300 million years ago.

They are frequently found with round or only slightly-flattened cross-sections, which indicates that they were buried in a standing position by accumulating sand and mud.

Some specimens (like the next one) exhibit growth during burial, indicating that calamites and quite possibly the Lycopods as well were capable of surviving and growing even as they were being buried alive!


Rock Type: Sandy shale
Formation: Kanawha
Interval: Alma seam
Age: Middle Pennsylvanian Period, approx. 312 million years.

Location: Nicholas County, West Virginia; New Land Leasing Company Surface Mine, located north of Route 41 about 10 miles east of Summersville, West Virginia.