“The ferns constitute an ancient division of vascular plants, some of them as old as the Carboniferous Period (beginning about 358.9 million years ago) and perhaps older.” (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
“Ferns first appear in the fossil record about 360 million years ago in the late Devonian period, but many of the current families and species did not appear until roughly 145 million years ago in the early Cretaceous, after flowering plants came to dominate many environments. The fern Osmunda claytoniana [interrupted fern] is a paramount example of evolutionary stasis; paleontological evidence indicates it has remained unchanged, even at the level of fossilized nuclei and chromosomes, for at least 180 million years.” (Wikipedia)
Both photos taken at the Philbrick Cricenti Bog in New London, NH, this week.
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