Abstract

The usual mode of occurrence of Stigmaria, sub-parallel to the bedding and with Appendices attached to it in radial arrangement, has long been considered unambiguous proof of growth in situ of this plant fossil. Four sedimentary features of Stigmaria in the Carboniferous cliff sections of Nova Scotia, Canada, contradict the general validity of this argument and indicate, instead, transportation of the stigmarian specimens. These features are: (1) preferred orientation of Stigmaria axes, (2) their fragmentation, (3) filling of stigmarian fragments with sediment different from the enveloping rock, and (4) evidence of rapid accumulation of beds containing Stigmaria. The Appendices, commonly believed to have been very soft, may in fact have been rather stiff. Paleoecological interpretations of stigmarian beds, if originally based on the supposed growth in situ of Stigmaria, will require reconsideration.

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