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Plant: Alethopteris lancifolia Wagner

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Colour photograph of a gray rock with black fossils of leaves
Plant: Alethopteris lancifolia Wagner. Upper Carboniferous. Saint John, New Brunswick. Collector: G.F. Matthew(?), c. 1900. New Brunswick Museum (NBMG 3397). Specimen width 9 cm. The Fern Ledges gained its name from the plant fossils first described by the Steinhammer Club and William Dawson in the 1860s. The environment was a coastal plain whose braided channels drained into shallow brackish water. Shrubby cordaitaleans (early conifer-like plants) and extinct seed ferns dominated coastal vegetation. True ferns, sphenopsids like Calamites, and lycopod trees were rare.