paleontology
The strange looking fossil almost resembled a snake to me.

I cracked open some sand stone and found this weird snake looking fossil. Help me out here.

Fossil Collector: Andy S.

Location: Durham, England

Editor: We like it when we can be so positive about something. This is certainly a fossil calamites from the swamps of the Carboniferous Period some 300- 360 million years ago. Calamites are an extinct horsetail plant that grew to giant proportions reaching 30 -100 feet tall. Durham was a different place back then!

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7 Responses to “Caboniferous Calamites”

  1. Lynn C says:

    Wow i was so excited to see this online as it is the same thing as I found yesterday while touring in the Beckley, West Virginia area. This is coal country. My specimen looks like a smaller piece of yours but the ribbed pattern is so distinctive I recognized it instantly! What a treat to know I picked up a 300 million year old extinct horsetail plant, just lying at my feet! Thanks for sharing. Isn’t it fascinating that the mountains of W VA and Durham, England both had this kind of plant, and that both these regions may well have had the same marshy terrain/climate???!!! Cool stuff.

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  2. Andy. S says:

    Hey, Lynn. That’s quite something! To think that both areas shared such an environment. I find it hard to even imagine what it would have been like with 30-100ft tall plants in a swampy area that my town is built on!

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  3. Chris Jones says:

    Found Identical behind my house, I live next to an old abandoned sandstone quarry in Burnley,Lancashire UK, amazed how fast I managed to identify this on google!

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  4. James Willhite says:

    A plant.

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  5. Keith Belcher says:

    thats awsome i found the same fossil in a creek bed in Williamsburg ,Kentucky 4 years ago while i was digging out rocks for decor for the flower bed. I haven’t been able to figure out wat it was, and then i found this pic. Mine is a bit bigger but wow its the same lines and segments. Ive been looking at this fossil under an led light and magnifying glass since i found it. and it feels so good to know what i found finally

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  6. Troy Bray says:

    ~350 million year old tree fern called Calamites

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  7. Matt says:

    I found out that my fossil is scouring rush or another common name horsetail. Upon researching it further it’s absolutely mind boggling to me the age this is most likely from since it was deep inside a rock cliff on top of mountain that was undisturbed until coal company went through in mid 90′s & turned the cliff into a pile of boulders & this was in middle of it which I found by chance. I grew up at the base of that mountain & to think that a plant like this was growing there 100′s of millions of years before I 1st enjoyed the suns warmth & knowing that this plant too relied on that same steady warmth fascinates me.

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