Many fossils have been misinterpreted as fossil snakes or dinosaur skin impressions by amateur collectors. Although reptile fossils could be found in Kentucky 's coalfields and in Pleistocene deposits, most of the so-called reptile fossils found in our state are actually other types of fossils. Most fossils thought to be reptile or dinosaur scale imprints are actually the scale impressions of the bark from fossil trees or patterns on fossil plant roots. Think of the scales on the outside of a modern pineapple and you can see how some plants have scaly bark or exteriors that might fool you into thinking they were a pattern of reptile scales. In the coal fields (Pennsylvanian period) the impressions of lycopod trees are commonly scaly. Likewise their roots, called Stigmaria, have circular depressions or bumps that have mislead some collectors into thinking they had found animal scale or skin impressions.

scale pattern of fossil lycopod tree "bark".


fossil root of a lycopod tree


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Last Modified on 2023-01-05
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