This is the outside bark of a species of ancestral trees known as Lepidodendron . It was found on a ridgetop in the pit of an active coal surface mine in Nicholas County, West Virginia in 1989. Hey, Bill Peay, YOU were THERE!
Coal miners often mistakenly believe this to be a fossil snake of some kind. This bark pattern occurs mid-trunk on the Lepidodendron tree.
Rock Type: Sandy shale
Interval: Coalburg seam
Age: Middle Pennsylvanian Period, approx. 307 million years.
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 befound in the rock drainage channels visible from the highway.