Abstract

Stigmaria is one of the iconic plant fossils of the Carboniferous and fragments of the narrower parts of the rhizomorph are found in most museum collections. However, very few almost entire specimens have been found and preserved. A new specimen of Stigmaria from Brymbo, North Wales is described and compared with other preserved examples from Europe and North America. The Brymbo specimen shows a large portion of trunk still attached to the large stigmarian base, which is a rare find, and this specimen supports our ideas of how these impressively large casts were formed. Stigmarias were preserved by the deposition of minerals around them following a sediment inundation, which gave sufficient support while the tissues rotted and filled with sediments. Remnants of the outer tissues were compressed to form a thin surrounding coal layer.

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