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Ferns and Relatives

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(13 total)

Megalopteris
Megalopteris
© 2003 Gary Andrashko, Illinois State Museum

Clathropteris reticulatum
Clathropteris reticulatum
© 2005 Yale Peabody Museum

Otozamites brevifolius
Otozamites brevifolius
© 2005 Yale Peabody Museum

What are Ferns and Relatives? Ferns are land plants anchored to the ground by thin “roots” called rhizomes, and most have frond-like leaves and reproduce by means of spores. Modern ferns carry their sporangia (spore-bearing bodies) on the underside of the fronds. There are about 10,000 living species of ferns. The fossil record of ferns and their relatives extends back to the Early Devonian. Although some fern relatives (Cladoxylopsida) went extinct, other relatives, like the whisk ferns (Psilotales), can still be found today.

First known fossil occurrence: Devonian.

Last known fossil occurrence: Quaternary. This group has living relatives.

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See Ferns and Relatives from the:

Quaternary
Tertiary
Cretaceous
Jurassic
Triassic
Permian
Carboniferous
Devonian
Silurian
Ordovician
Cambrian
Precambrian
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