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What are Lycophytes? Lycophytes have small leaf-like features (microphylls) with veins that transport water and nutrients like the leaves of other plants. But the microphylls evolved from different structures than those that are ancestral to leaves. These leaf-like features look like scales on many fossils, hence the term “scale tree” that is used for a number of extinct lycophytes. Today, lycophytes are represented by the small club mosses, but in the past, some scale trees grew more than 35 meters tall.
First known fossil occurrence: Ordovician.
Last known fossil occurrence: Quaternary. This group has living relatives.
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