Fossil Conifer Leaf
This group of fossil plants called Gymnosperms or “naked seeds” are identified by having well developed cones with seeds that are not protected by flower parts, and are borne on the upper surface of a scale on the cone.
Conifer fossils are woody branching plants that take the form of trees or shrubs. Most conifer fossils have needle or scale leaves.
During the “Age of the Dinosaurs” these “naked seed” plants were one of the dominant plants on the earth. Today they still cover large areas of the earth’s surface, and in Canada, they are mainly restricted to the west coast. The oldest and largest living tree today is a conifer.
Most of the leaves of fossil plants are destroyed and not preserved. The fossil leaves that are found are preserved as impressions, usually in sedimentary mudstones deposited in lake sediments. Carbonization is a process of preserving the fossil leaf, giving detail of their shape and venation.