DMS_banner12.jpg (71459 bytes)
Home About Us Field Trips March Show Board/Officers Geogram Sample Meetings Members Links

 

 

                           Mineral of the Month--March

                  Petrified Wood

                                       Silicon Dioxide (Predominately)

                              SiO2

                   Petrified Wood, Part II

               By Ken Casey

Preface
Introduction
What's in a Scientific Name?
Geology & Evolutionary Biology
Interview: Dr. Stephen Ervin
Evolution
Paleobotany
Morphology
In Paleontological Terms
Land Plant to Trees & Birds
Antarctica
Australia
Asia
Africa
South America
Paleoforestry & Conservation
Lore
Metaphysical
Lapidary
Interview: Jackie Lapin
Links
Endnotes
Article Contributors
Photo & Graphics Credits
Suggested Reading
Invitation to Members
Past Minerals of the Month
Member's Gallery

petwood.gif (1714 bytes)

TF_RND6.JPG (97532 bytes)
Tietea singularis,
250 myo Tree fern, Brazil
Photo by and courtesy of Steve Speer,
2006 Sticks-in-stones.com

 

madgoldwood.jpg (9747 bytes)
Red Australian Petrified Wood Sphere
(Below): Three spheres
Photos by and courtesy of Jackie Lapin,
2006 SpheresToYou.com
MVC_007L_de_petwood.jpg (138795 bytes)
Pleistocene Petrified Wood,
Odessa, Delaware
Photo by and courtesy of
Karissa Hendershot  2006
INDO65Z.JPG (55478 bytes)
Microslide of Indonesian petwood
2006 Sticks-in-stones.com

PAKWOOD2.JPG (10593 bytes)  MADPINK3.JPG (11059 bytes)  YELWOOD.JPG (9825 bytes)

 

Don't be scared...

...it may not look like wood, but it is petrified!

Preface

     We begin in Petrified Wood: Part II, with plant matters.  From the microscopic cell
structures to macroscopic grain patterns, our search today favors paleobotany.  As certain
lapidary processes bring out these structures for our perusal, we will add these to our cache of
last month’s feature.

     With an international eye on our world’s paleoforests, we will travel the globe in search
of petrified wood itself, and some cultural lore that surrounds it.  We will touch upon the
metaphysical briefly, but will base ourselves in the concrete science of evolving plant forms
over time.  Our “evolution” will take us to Pangea, and its subsequent proto-continents,
China, Brazil, Antarctica, and places better known for sighting our logged quandary.

     So, pack your hard hats and safety sunglasses.  We’re off to explore collections of trunked
wonders worldwide.   Let’s go!

 

Introduction

     Good morning, everyone!  I hope you are bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and excited to depart,
as we are leaving in a few minutes.  No need for airline tickets, since we will board our club’s
charter flight to points all over.  Please grab your backpacks and all aboard, while I get the
morning beverage and in-flight lesson prepared.

     Our itinerary will list the places we will visit.  They include: Argentina, Brazil, Antarctica!

     All of our club gear is already stowed, per our captain.   We have everything from sunscreen
to winter parkas, for our comfort and convenience!

     Flying from our local New Castle County Airport, we will cross the Pacific Ocean to Asia,
then on to frozen Antarctica.  To thaw out, we'll stop at sunny Australia, and next to Africa and
South America. In between, we will hit Europe, and other spots on the globe.

     As we’ve had our primer on petrified wood, today’s interactive discussion will feature plant
biology, and its changes over time.  We won’t be able to cover all of geologic time, but will hit
upon a representation of many parts of the scale, depending on the locales we’ll be visiting.

     We’ll cover lapidary, and the other subjects on successive jaunts on our voyage.  Are you
ready?  Let’s go!

 

What’s In a Scientific Name?

 

     Paleobotany and botany have one thing in common; they both use scientific names in the
same manner.  According the Linnean system of taxonomy, set down by Carolus Linnaeus
some time ago in 18th century Sweden.  He based his work on upon a hierarchy in which living
things can be categorized in an ascending/descending order, per their similar features.

     Latin is used here, so a working knowledge of rootwords can help, but is not necessary to
begin with.  Just by rote learning a few names, we can jump start our exposure into another
language

     His system goes: Kingdom, Phylum (Division for plants), Class, Order, Family, Genus,
Species, with the first categories being the most general (Kingdom: Animal, Plant).  Modern
scientists have developed the system that he popularized.[i]

     Today, the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN), set forth by the
International Botanical Congress, outlines the taxonomic designations that we will use in
our article.  Three major differences are the addition of Domain before Kingdom, “sub-“
designations to every step, and “Variety” and “Form” below Species, for plants.[ii]

     We will focus upon “trees”, and refer here on in to Genus/Species only, if no other
hierarchy is required to differentiate an argument.  An example from last month’s article
is: Araucarioxylon arizonicum.

     It is interesting to note that Linnaeus had originally designated three Kingdoms:
Plants, Animals, and Minerals.  I wonder into which category would he position petrified
wood?  We shall place it in Kingdom Plantae.

     I list a a few, representative (to this article), in a mix of fossil, extinct, and modern tree
classifications below:

Eukaryotic Kingdoms

PLANTAE (Plants)

"Gymnosperms" (Spermatophytes, or seed plants)

Conifers
---Araucariaceae
---Cephalotaxaceae
---Cheirolepidaceae
---Cupressaceae (redwoods & junipers)
---Pinaceae (pines, cedars, firs, etc)
---Podocarpaceae
---Sciadopityaceae
---Taxaceae (yews)
---Voltziales (basal conifers)

Cycadales (cycads)
---Cycadaceae
---Stangeriaceae
---Zamiaceae

Ginkgoales (ginkgos)
Glossopteridales
Lyginopterids (earliest seed plants)[iii]

Photos by and courtesy of:
Fossil Araucaria cone, Steve Ervin
Modern Pine cone and Sweet-gum seedpod, Ken Casey
2006

 

Modern pine conepinecone4.jpg (219956 bytes)

 

Fossil Araucaria coneAraucariacone1.jpg (55713 bytes)

 

Sweet-gum seedpod,
A Tertiary relict
monkeyball1.jpg (225971 bytes)
http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/help/taxaform.html

 

German to English:

petwood.gif (1714 bytes)  Fossilien - versteinertes Holz  =  Fossils - petrified wood

http://www.huber-oeg.com/

 

Where is petrified wood?

     Anywhere that there was a forest, tree, or wood set within conditions conducive towards
mineralization, there may lie under our feet petrified wood.  As we understand the basic
sedimentary principle of one layer of rock-forming material covering over another over time,
we can surmise that many of the paleoforests of time lie some feet under our boots. Active
geologies over eons have exposed our mineral woods for our exploration.  It is these visible
features that we will access this trip.  We will leave the ‘big digs’ for another article.  Except
for some hot weather, we won’t even have to break a sweat.  Isn’t that cool?!

Before we go, let’s review:

     There are three main steps towards permineralization of living plant matter: (1.) encapsulation,
or removal from an environment that causes decomposition, (2.) introduction of sufficient quantity
of a mineral-laden solution to bring about chemical-biochemical replacement of cell structure,
and (3.) time. Our global search takes us to many places, so keep your eyes peeled!

 

Geological History and Evolutionary Biology

     Let’s talk about Pangea, the ancient supercontinent which is the starting place for continental
drift in our chapter on paleobotany.  We’ll need a little history to ramp us up to speed.

PANGEA.JPG (11293 bytes) fossil_coral.jpg (17142 bytes)
Drawing courtesy of the University of Texas Fossilized Coral
Photo by Ken Casey 2006

     As an avid student of geology at Edinburgh University, Charles Darwin became embroiled in
the great geological debates of the 1820s and 1830s.  Darwin received acclaim not only by his
later works as a biologist, but as a geologist, as well.  “Darwin's most successful application of
simple geology and his most lasting contribution to the science was his explanation of the origin
of coral reefs. (They build up on the sides of slowly subsiding seamounts.)”[iv]

     Though he could not successfully build upon Lyell’s work directly beyond this marine theory,
his geographic explorations aboard The Beagle pushed his focus to biology.  His highly
controversial theory of evolution paved the way for us to now understand more on our changing
landscape of petrified wood.  We can combine biology and geology into an earth science that
supports our studies here.  We will begin with his conclusions upon return from his grand
adventure.

     As similar species covered the single landmass, when broken apart, some went with each
continent.  As Darwin noted that isolated populations are likely to speciate, subspeciate, or
evolve, a similar process is purported by many of today’s scientists when Pangea separated
into Laurasia and Gondwanaland.  That process is known as vicariation.  Examples are the
creatures of the Galapagos Islands, and those of Australia versus those lineages of Eurasia
and the Americas.

Gingko-Blaetter.jpg (24924 bytes)
Modern Gingko biloba leaves
Photo courtesy of Reinhard Kraasch

     These flora and fauna adapted to their environment, as both climate and ecosystems altered over time.  His mantra “survival of the fittest” describes the successfully altered progeny extant in each step of evolution, and moreso, those who are alive today.  Today, we call it “adaptive radiation”.

     Many trees of the fossil record survive relict today, such as Gingko biloba, which eminated from China in the Jurassic, some 160 million years ago.[v] 

     Though it has done so with little or no change, it did survive; whereas, many co-existing
species did not.  It was, and is, the fittest.  This example would also support the newer theory
spurts and stasis.  This dicot gymnosperm (twin-leafed deriving from naked, or fruitless, seed),
native to China, can be found in yards, parks, and preserves for us to enjoy.

Cycas_seed.jpg (6966 bytes) Glossopt_Australia_1-sm.jpg (18170 bytes) Psaronius2_small.jpg (3478 bytes)
Cycad seed
Photo courtesy
of Steve Ervin
Glossopteris, Antarctica
Photo courtesy of Dr. Bernie Gunn
Psaronius, extinct tree fern,
Late Carboniferous-Permian
Photo courtesy of Steve Ervin

     Some species did not.  They are extinct.  There are many examples: Glossopterids, Psaronius,
and Cordaites are but a few.

     The Cycads are still here, though today’s palm trees (Genus: Cycas) are believed to have
some relation to Gingkos, perhaps in an anagenetic lineage,as they are both spermatophytes. 
The extinct genus Cordaites is structurally somewhat between Cycads and Gingkos. The
Cordaites lineage can be traced back to Late Paleozoic times.

     Glossopteris, a bald cypress-like tree, is believed to have covered all of today's continents
at one time.  Psaronius lived as a great tree-fern from the Carboniferous until the Late Permian.

     Five major extinction events can be marked on the geologic time line.  The Devonian marked
one of them.  At about 364 mya, most of the great fishes disappeared.  This event, marked by
the Frasnian-Famennian boundary, does not greatly defeat the land plants.  In fact, the
megaflora’s success may have been the catalyst to marine faunal extinctions.

     By understanding the Carbon Cycle, we can appreciate that the greenhouse gas CO2
used up by the burgeoning plant community reduced atmospheric levels, thus generating a
global cooling.  The resulting glaciation may have chilled the oceans too much for the great
cold-blooded fishes to survive.  As usual, the generalist species survived to adapt and swim
on.[vi]  The remainder of the organic carbon became deposited on and in the ground, to
eventually be metamorphosed into coal and peat.

     Today’s fossil and paleoclimatological evidence points to mass extinctions.  Though
this puts a dent into the “Snowball Earth” theory, massive environment changes seemed
to have produced modified groups of species.  Cold-hardy trees could have weathered this
eonic storm.

     Could this have been the dawning time of evergreens and deciduous winter-sleepers? 
In the Permian (290-248 mya), drier inland conditions may have caused adaptations in plants,
such as the introduction of angiosperms (seed-bearing trees).

PINE1.JPG (379300 bytes) pinecone_in_tree2.jpg (291931 bytes) pinebark1.jpg (489428 bytes)
Modern Pine tree Modern pine cone Modern Pine tree bark
Photos by Ken Casey   2006

     “Also, the great forests of fern-like plants shifted to gymnosperms, plants with their
offspring enclosed within seeds. Modern conifers, the most familiar gymnosperms of today,
first appear in the fossil record of the Permian.”[vii]

     The transitional Triassic (248-206 mya) supports recovery of plant biota after a mass
extinction.  “The holdovers included the lycophytes, glossopterids, and dicynodonts. While
those that went on to dominate the Mesozoic world include modern conifers, cycadeoids,
and the dinosaurs.”[viii] 
Plant and insect taxa exploded in numbers, during the Triassic.  

     The Jurassic (206-144 mya) was overtaken by lush ferns and palm-type cycads.  Early
seed plants, they still exist today.[ix]

     Pangea began to break-up in the Jurassic, which contributed to mass vicariation, based
upon hemisphere (northern, southern), and climate change.   With the dawn of the Cretaceous
(144-65 mya), many of the lifeforms (especially trees) we know today lived then.

BEECH1.JPG (394048 bytes)      For example, today’s beech forests of New Zealand took root in the Mid-Cretaceous.  With the advent of pollen and seed plants(angiosperms), recolonization of desolate areas took place.  Before that, in the Early Cretaceous (~135 mya) Gondwanian flowering plants, such as the kauri (mentioned in Petrified Wood, Part I), arrived on the islands.

(Left): Petrified Beech wood, polished slab
Photo permission courtesy of the Iron Hill Museum Newark, Delaware (From their display case at our March 4-5, 2006 Show)

     “Among the first angiosperms to reach New Zealand was the wind-pollinated southern
beech tree (Nothofagus species). It arrived between 80 and 110 million years ago, after New
Zealand had separated from the Australian part of Gondwana, but before it had separated
from the Antarctic region. For several million years, the beech forests stretched continuously
from Tasmania, and through what is now New Zealand and Marie Byrd Land in Antarctica, on
into South America. Even today, the beech forests of New Zealand and South America
resemble each other so closely that each has the same parasitic fungi, mosses and flightless
sucking bugs inhabiting their bark (Stevens et al., 1995).”[x]

Lepidodendron_aculeatum2.jpg (55676 bytes)
Lepidodendron aculeatum trunk fragment
Photo courtesy of wikipedia.org

 

Abbreviated Timeline of Tree Evolution

410 mya Vascular plants (Early Devonian)

380 mya Cone-bearing Gymnosperms (Late Devonian)

135 mya Angiosperms (flowering plants) (Early Cretaceous)

     In ancient Europe, now England, a Cretaceous to Jurassic paleoforest looms.  There were
cypress, junipers, and cycadophytes, some similar to those of the Mediterranean today. 
“The Fossil Forest, west of Lulworth Cove, Dorset, southern England, is a classic geological
locality with the remains and moulds of late Jurassic or early Cretaceous coniferous trees
rooted in a palaeosol (ancient soil), the Great Dirt Bed. Above the trees is stromatolitic
limestone and over this the unusual Broken Beds, a limestone breccia that was originally
evaporitic.”[xi]

     Nearby, at Fossil Forest at Victoria Park in Glasgow, Scotland Lepidodendron tree stumps
can be found in their original growth positions.  Otherwise known as the “scale tree” from the
Greek, it was deposited during the carboniferous in sandstone.[xii]

Araucariaround1_small.jpg (3764 bytes)
Araucaria

 

Interview with Dr. Stephen Ervin,
Zoologist, Ornithologist, Biologist
& Petrified Wood Collector

AraucariawithToredoburrows.jpg (5480 bytes)
Araucaria with
Turedo burrows

KBC: Steve, you have recently retired as a Biology/Zoology Professor Emeritus at California State University (CSU) Fresno. Your stated areas of interest and research are in Avian ecology, island ecology, and passerine population dynamics. How has your work in these areas guided you towards an interest in evolution and paleontology?
SE:

My interest in evolution and paleontology predates my degrees. I had an exceptional HS Biology Teacher in the 60's. One of the areas for my Ph.D. examinations was avian paleontology and my Ph.D. dissertation was in avian ecology/behavior.

 

KBC: You visited the Galapagos Islands in 1983-84 and 1987. What did you find there? Oh, by the way, Happy Darwin Day <http://darwinday.org/englishL/home/index.html?>! (February 12th)
SE: Actually I have been to Galapagos in 82-83, 87, and 90. The 1987 trip was a sabbatical and I worked on Large-billed Flycatchers and Dark-billed Cuckoos. The studies just developed basic information on relatively little known species. I lived in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz for 4 months. Galapagos is a wonderful place to see evolution in action, plus it is the Mecca for biologists. Too few people truly "see" Galapagos unless they live there and travel from island to island. Differences in the features of a species are visible when you go from one island to the next. I have been to most of the places Darwin visited...an exceptional experience when combined with later visits to his home in London.

 

KBC: When teaching evolution with petrified wood as a tool, what would be a representative example you use, and why?
SE: I have taught evolution for 32 years...plus some teaching as a graduate student. It is the ONLY way that science views the world. Any other way is not science and is usually an oxymoron. My wood collection is only a fraction of what I presented, but I emphasized distribution of fossil forms to illustrate such principles as continental drift. I usually used Araucaria, Ginkgo, and Glossopteris as examples. Of course the first two still exist and have interesting distributions.

 

KBC: Have you found that fossil plant evidence has had an influence in your work as a Biologist/Zoologist? Or, have the two interests evolved divergently?
SE:

The answer would be convergence rather than divergence. Plant ecology/paleontology goes hand-in-hand with animal ecology/paleontology.

 

KBC: You name your personal homepage “Corvus”. Is that after the generic name for crows, ravens, and jays? Has the study of their evolution been a profound influence on you? Or, do you just like these passerine birds?
SE: Corvids are considered one of the most "advanced" of the passerine birds. They are incredibly intelligent and even use tools in some cases. While I did not work with them, I have always been intrigued and impressed with them...they are among my favorites.

 

KBC: Our article attempts to link the first perching birds found in China with certain species of fossil trees. The attempt is to suggest a picture with our supposed “paleo-view” as a mind tool to grasp a better perspective, like on TV. I use the example of either Microraptor (feathered dinosaur) or Archaeopteryx (proto-bird) as potentially being able to perch upon the Gingko tree. As a “new bird” to this branch of science, would my supposition be remotely plausible? (Of course, outside the scope of this article, I would need to find evidence for and conduct research concluding as such.) Or, what flora might these creatures have perched upon, if any?
SE: Most illustrations use cycads as dominant trees during the Jurassic and Cretaceous. Ginkgo was apparently present around Solnhofen in Germany. I would guess it was in China as well.

 

KBC:

You picture on your personal website a fossil Glossopteris leaf.  (Have you used this tree in support of Continental Drift?

SE: Absolutely...although it is only one small shred of a vast amount of evidence. Continental drift is now considered a fact...not a theory. This is just the same for evolution...it is also a FACT. The theory is "Natural Selection"....how the fact works. People usually get this wrong as we tend to shorten the phrase: Darwin's Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection" (correct) to just "Darwin's Theory" (incorrect). Both Evolution and Continental Drift can be DIRECTLY measured...there are parallels here.

 

KBC: You wrote a paper, titled ”Human Ecology: Biology, Evolution, Environment”. Where could I find it, and what was the major point(s) you argued on Evolution?
SE: This is not a paper...it was the title of a course I taught for over 20 years. It covered human evolution and other aspects of human ecology both in the past and now. One of the topics I never covered was Creation Science...except to illustrate why it is not scientific.

 

KBC: What order would you say your interests developed in these areas: biology, ornithology, or paleobotany (petrified wood)?
SE: I can't put these in any order as some are inclusive of others. Both ornithology and paleontology are branches of biology (and also geology). I am a very broadly trained biologist with a wide range of evolutionary interests.

 

KBC: As a collector of minerals, fossils, and petrified wood, when did it become a hobby for you?
SE: Sometime in the late 1950's. I started collecting things as a kid usually does. My interests grew from there.

 

KBC: Are there any works or resources that you would like to suggest our readers check out regarding petrified wood and/or evolution?
SE: There are too many to actually list. On the web: Talk Origins Archive, UC Berkeley Paleo Dept, Pharyngula, Olduvai George, Down House etc. etc.

 

KBC: Are there any suggestions that you would like to offer students of life science, earth science, or of evolution?
SE: It is absolutely essential that people understand that all of biology and medicine are based on Evolution. It is a FACT. It really troubles me that so few people in this country understand that... and instead prefer religious and mystic views. To be a biologist REQUIRES that you understand and work in an evolutionary context...anything else is a throwback to the Dark Ages. You can be a religious person and an evolutionist...you just cannot mix the two.

 

KBC: Have you any additional comments?
SE:

Just to thank you for the opportunity to express some views!

 

Evolution

     Plants and trees have developed over time, giving us rich history to explore. Charles Darwin,
noted naturalist, assumed a gradual modification over generations of descendants; whereas,
some modern biologists work with the premise of bursts of changes, then periods of stasis
(punctuated equilibrium).  Mass extinctions and long episodes of statis seem to support the
latter theory.  One could assume that with pseudoextinction, an example being the recognition
of modern birds as the dinosaur’s descendants, that dinosaurs must today exist; however, in a
different form.

     Darwin received acclaim not only as a biologist, but as a geologist, as well.  So, his eye for
our current subject matter could guide us in our basic understanding of how trees (evidenced
by petrified wood) have changed over geologic time.

Paleobotany

wood_cross-section_trans.gif (8961 bytes)      It will also be helpful for us to learn "morphology" (tree parts) and some biology.  Don’t worry, just enough to aid us in identifying on species from another.  For example, xylem, phloem, and bark, cambium, precambium, etc. “In vascular plants, xylem is one of the two types of transport tissue in plants, phloem being the other one. The word “xylem” is derived from  classical Greek xlon, "wood", and indeed the best known xylem tissue is wood. The xylem transports sap from the root up the plant: xylem sap consists mainly of water and inorganic ions, although it can contain a number of organic chemicals as well.”[xiii] 

     It is most likely one development that encouraged or supported gigantism.

(Left): Tree Anatomy in cross-section

     Water and nutrient uptake is key to survival of plants.  “Xylem appeared early in the history
of terrestrial plant life. Fossil plants with anatomically preserved xylem are known from the
Silurian (more than 400 million years ago), and trace fossils resembling individual xylem cells
may be found in earlier Ordovician rocks.”[xiv]

     Food is handled by the phloem.  “In vascular plants, phloem is the living tissue that carries
organic nutrients, particularly sucrose, to all parts of the plant where needed. In trees, the phloem
is part of the bark, hence the name, derived from the Greek word for "bark".”[xv]

Anat0410.jpg (34118 bytes) Anat0397.jpg (42968 bytes) Anat0401.jpg (37474 bytes)
Petrified Gymnosperm wood radial-section Petrified dicot wood cross-section Dicot petrified wood cross-section
Photomicrograph slides by and courtesy of John D. Curtis, Nels R. Lersten, and Michael D. Nowak 2002

     The vascular cambium is a lateral meristem: The vascular cambium is the source of both
the secondary xylem (inwards) and the secondary phloem (outwards), and hence is located
between these tissues in the stem. The vascular cambium usually consist of two types of cells:

  • Fusiform initials (tall cells, axially-oriented)
  • Ray initials (almost isodiametric cells - smaller and round to angular in shape)

Vascular cambium is a part of the plant's meristem - series of tissues consisting of embryonic
(incompletely differentiated) cells from which other (and more differentiated) plant tissues
originate.[xvi]

     We will cover such tree groups as: Angiosperms (deciduous), Gymnosperms (coniferous),
Cycads, and extinct fossil trees.

     To get our inquisitive engines going, I’ll ask if anyone knows what is believed to have been
the first tree? 

That’s right: Archaeopteris (~370 mya), a
Progymnosperm.

 

Morphology

     Now that we’ve covered how our petrified trees evolved and got placed over geologic time,
we are ready to go over plant anatomy.  We’ll need to know their parts (living and fossil), if we
are going to be successful in identifying different species in the field.

     Let’s start with the basics.  Many fossil trees, like modern trees, have branches, trunks,
and roots.   We can easily identify these major parts as tree-like.  Grain pattern have been
preserved in many specimens, thus aiding us in our comparson to modern woods.

     The colorful concentric rings comprising the trunk’s log structure also aid us.  Sometimes,
we have clues deposited nearby, such as leaf impressions, fossilized seeds, cones, or amber. 
Even remnants of insect infestation, as in Mesozoic Antarctic woods can help. You might even
remember your high school biology class lesson on plants and trees.  “The key elements of a
tree are: xylem, phloem, cambium…"

     If that doesn’t bring it back, well, let’s try a picture. Take a look above at the tree in
cross-section.

PT_WOOD2.JPG (536673 bytes) Anat0411.jpg (59486 bytes) Anat0412.jpg (34198 bytes)
Pressure-treated Pine wood-grain Petrified gymnosperm wood cross-section Petrified gymnosperm wood radial-section
Photomicrograph slides by and courtesy of John D. Curtis, Nels R. Lersten, and Michael D. Nowak 2002
P-T Pine photo by Ken Casey  2006

     After, we’ll go into some advanced stuff, like “plant stones”, and such. A “plant stone”
(or Phytolith) serves to add structural stability to plants.  These microscopic bodies can be
made from silicon or calcium oxalate.  In paleobotany, these phytoliths often remain behind,
serving as fossil evidence in identifying ancient flora.  A relationship between these plants
and fossil herbivores can be forged.  From this evidence, changes in extinct animal diets,
and their resulting evolutions, can be measured and compared.  The chief faunal evidence is
found within coprolites.  It is interesting to note that Charles Darwin mentioned “plant stones”
in his writings.[xvii]  

     “About 75% of flowering plants produce calcium oxalate crystals in some or all of their organs.
Because these crystals occur in various shapes and hydration states that are specific and
consistent within each organ, they have been used periodically as an internal taxonomic
character. Since crystals and their macropatterns are usually retained in the mature leaves
and stems even after they die or drop off the plant, such information should be useful for
identification purposes, possibly in forensics.”[xviii]  

abot-92-12_700.jpg (62786 bytes) plum_open.jpg (269991 bytes)
Development of the calcium oxalate crystal macropattern in pomegranate
(Punica granatum, Punicaceae
Photo by and courtesy of Harry T. Horner
Modern Plum (Genus: Prunus)
Photo by Ken Casey  2006
Note: After having taken this picture, I promptly consumed
the plum for my lunch.  Then, I got back to writing.

 

 

 

In Botanical Terms:

Dendochronology, paleosol, paleopalynology (fossil pollen), eco-morphology, megaflora,
leaf physiognomy, are all terms for us to learn in our study of paleobotany. We’ll be visiting
some of these terms in our quest to learn more about Petrified Wood!

Photomicrograph slide by and courtesy of Curtis, Lersten, and Nowak 2002

Anat0408.jpg (28222 bytes)
Petrified angiosperm wood, radial-section
showing the tyloses in the vessel

In Paleontological Terms

     When paleontologists and paleobotanists study and reconstruct lifeforms over evolutionary
time, they require a context, called “phylogeny”.  This biological context connects groups of
organisms by “ancestor/descendant relationships”.   Extinct organisms, fossil forms of those
today extant, and living trees require a structure to show how they are interrelated, called a
“cladogram”.

     This genealogy of species can be ensconced in field of “systematics”.  Taxonomic science,
or the naming and classifying of lifeforms, underlies the study of these relationships.[xix]

     If you would like to know more, UC Berkeley offers some resources:

Journey Into Phylogenetic Systematics
Phylogenetics Resources
Introduction to Cladistics

     When making a phylogenetic analysis of organisms, say Gingko biloba, the best modern
acceptable method is “cladisitics”.  “Cladistics is a particular method of hypothesizing
relationships among organisms.”[xx]

     The basis for cladistics are “synapomorphies, or the shared derived characteristics of
organisms compared.[xxi]

     Another example of applying phylogenetics in paleobotany is the contention to accept
a pre-Silurian plant record.  By studying the microfossil evidence of cyrptospores, Professor
Wilson A. Taylor of the University of Wisconsin at Eau-Claire in his paper, “The case for a
land flora in the Cambrian - ultrastructural evidence”, proposes this hypothesis as a pivotal
evolutionary event.[xxii]

     Some Paleobotany being conducted today I have recently perused an abstract on a
presentation on Miocene Maryland fossil endocarp (nut shell) evidence.  There are scads
of resources for paleontologists and paleobotanists. I will list a few at the end of the article,
many of which were presentations at the 2004 and 2005 Botany Conferences. Some current
work by botanists have literally unearthed aspects on paleoenvironments for our modern
reconstruction upon the fossil record.  The gamut here runs from plant forms surviving
extinction events, the earliest insect pollinations, paleoclimatic changes in temperate
Antarctica, and early proof of autumn leave color changes.

     Beyond just taking a paleo-snapshot of a fossil-forming environment, new volumes of data
have been plotted to demonstrate trends in climate change and evolution.  For example,
various paleogeographic reconstructions suggest that the climate warmed during the Late
Cretaceous partly due to accumulation of greenhouse gases.[xxiii]

inversand_wall.jpg (6542 bytes) Inversand Greensand Mine, Sewell, New Jersey

Our club's local collecting area encompasses these
fossil-laden sands at the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) Boundary.

Photo by Ken Casey  2005

     Moreover, derived from evidence about the differing chronostratigraphy surrounding the
Cretaceous-Teritiary Boundary (K-T) Event, the faunal and floral extinction dynamics
suggest a new interpretation.  Professors W. A. Green and L. J. Hickey of Yale University
offer that “[t]his substantiates some of our standing assumptions about the selectivity of
extinctions at the end of the Cretaceous, which may have eliminated taxa but do not seem
to have restructured plant ecosystems significantly. It provides an example of ecosystem
stability under environmental perturbation and highlights the influence of evolutionary
innovation on evolutionary history.”[xxiv]

     Some palynologists have proposed that Middle Triassic cycads were insect pollinated,
like those today. They use fossil pollen and insect coprolites as evidence on these
gymnosperms (seed plants).[xxv]

     Biologists at the University of Kansas have presented on the topic of paleoclimate in
Permian-Triassic Antarctica:

     “Tree rings are well preserved in Late Permian and Middle Triassic permineralized peats
from the central Transantarctic Mountains, and can be used as paleoclimate indicators.
During both of these time periods, the Earth had a greenhouse climate, with temperatures
in polar regions sufficient for plant growth.  Previously there has not been much paleoclimate
information obtained from Gondwana Triassic wood, and the permineralized material
represents an important source of data on growing conditions in Antarctica at this time.”[xxvi]

     My favorite development is the amazing preservation of leaf material from Idaho, which
shows us that Fall leaves did indeed change color seasonally some millions of years ago. As,
an interesting correlation has been made between fossil and living tree genera from the Late
Tertiary (~15 mya) in northern Idaho.  Fossil foliage has been superbly well preserved
“[b]ecause of cold, anoxic bottom water and a high rate of sedimentation, preservation of
the local biota was excellent.  During the last 15 million years this area has remained
tectonically stable, resulting in little post depositional change of any biota remains trapped
in the sediments. Leaves often show original fall colors (brown, red, and yellow). Some even
contain Chloroplasts and show the original green color. Biochemistry, unique in each modern
genera of plant species correlates well with similar fossil species.”[xxvii]

     When we piece the paleo-puzzle together, we can see trends of lifeform changes, known
as evolution.  I will proffer an example that can bring a picture to our paleo-view by building
upon an image most of us have witnessed in our lives: a bird perching upon a tree.  Our
question, ‘How did he or she get here from a long travel over generations?’  Let’s find out.  

Evolution: Dinosaurs, Birds, and Trees

     Let’s start from a certain geologic point in time.  About 550 mya, the “Cambrian Explosion”
occurred.  Most of the major continents have moved into the southern hemisphere, thus
forming the supercontinent Pangea. First plants on land? They occurred at least 400 mya,
in the Early Paleozoic.  Vascular plants (xylem, phloem, etc.) grew in by the Silurian
(443-417 mya), then the Devonian (417-354 mya) brought about tree diversification.[xxviii]

     The earliest trees occurred and spread globally about 370 mya, as ”[t]rees evolved
some 180 million years after the Cambrian explosion when the land masses were mostly
south of the equator and Pangea had begun to form. Because the land masses were fairly
close together, the forests were able to spread across the land quite rapidly.”[xxix]

     The Devonian (410-360 mya) brought about the rise of Archaeopteris, now believed
to be the earliest tree.  Its eventual biotic provinces were Laurasia and Gondwana. It’s
upright growth and shallow roots took advantage of water and minerals more deeply
below the surface than its ancestors.[xxx]    3D Image of Archaeopteris  

 

From Land Plant to Trees with Birds

     During the Carboniferous (360-286 mya), forests of lychophytes towered to greater
than 100 feet!  These behemoth scale trees share the trait of being the first vascular plants,
which still survive in albeit a relatively miniature form today.  A differentiating trait is in their
leaf structure.  Lycophytes evolved separately as microphylls, which have “…only a single
unbranched strand of vascular tissue, or vein, whereas megaphylls, found in other plants
with leaves, have multiple veins, usually branching one or more times within the leaf.”[xxxi]

     “The Division Lycopodiophyta (sometimes called Lycophyta) is a tracheophyte subdivision
of the Kingdom Plantae. It is the oldest extant (living) vascular plant division and includes
some of the most "primitive" extant species. These species reproduce by shedding spores
and have macroscopic alternation of generations, although some are homosporous while
others are heterosporous. They differ from all other vascular plants in having microphylls,
leaves that have only a single vascular trace (vein) rather than the much more complex
megaphylls found in ferns and seed plants.”[xxxii]

     Leading up to the Triassic Period (248-206 mya), global climate change occurred at about
the time of Earth’s largest extinction event: the Permo-Triassic extinction.   On Pangea,
survivors included lycophytes and glossopterids.  Typical Triassic tree flora included cycads
and conifers, along with ferns growing in the understory.  Evolution prompted the introduction
of ancestors to our modern conifers and cycadeoids.  The glossopterids, however, became
extinct by the end of the period.  Dinosaurs, as we have traditionally known them, also roamed
the planet, until the K-T Event.[xxxiii] 

     Triassic Mesophyta plants (middle flora) of the Late Permian to Middle Cretaceous
included ever smaller lycopods, Calamites-type plants, and ferns.  Variations occurred,
according to climate and geography, such as giant seed ferns overtowering trees in part of
Gondwana.  Whereas, cycads and gingkos inhabited drier, interior climes, such as in
northern Pangea.  And, “Araucariacean conifers were the predominate large trees in
Laurasia, with primitive gingkoaleans (e.g. Sphenobaiera and Glossphyllum) and cycads
as lower story and underbrush.”[xxxiv] 

BIGCHIN3.JPG (202897 bytes) Calamites_lg_brazil.jpg (103201 bytes)
Chinese conifer (Petrified Wood)
Photo by and courtesy of Steve Speer of
Sticks-in-stones.com  2006
Calamites (Permian), Brazil
Photo courtesy of Steve Ervin

     Before Trees and up to Flight Before trees, there was moss and algae.  Tree evolution
includes the development of a vascular system with roots.  Dr. Robert Banner of Yale
University presented his findings at Earth Systems Processes, a multidisciplinary meeting
in Edinburgh, Scotland.  It is hosted jointly by the Geological Society of London (GSL) and
the Geological Society of America (GSA). His presentation, “How trees changed the world”,
offers evidence of radical geological change deriving from such shifts in a new biota
ecosystem.  He argues that changes in Earth’s atmosphere and the natural Carbon Cycle
have been advanced.  As we shall see:

“The first trees soaked up nutrients from rocks at a rate never before seen. This
enhanced the weathering of calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) silicate minerals,
which in turn removed carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as Ca and Mg became
locked together with carbonate ions in lime-rich sediments in the world’s oceans.
The removal of CO2 from the atmosphere by this method and by increased
photosynthesis (fixation) led to atmospheric CO2 stabilising at lower levels than
the world had known for most of its previous 4200Ma history.”[xxxv]

     Increased erosion levels occurred from root-splitting, as trees took their nutrients from
rocks.  The procress proceeds with wood lignin becoming buried into these sediments. 
Atmospheric carbon dioxide used up by these large plants led to proportional deposition
of removed carbon.  Organic carbon is removed from the wood, thus becoming coal.  As
large plant photosynthesis advanced globally, greater percentages of atmospheric oxygen
occurred.

     Enriched air brought about faunal evolution, in that gigantism took over for a bit of
geologic time.  The early resulting insect populations became huge, compared to even
today’s largest dragonfly, for example.[xxxvi]

     It wasn’t long after (in millions of years), that pollinating insects helped spread flowering
trees and plants conquer the globe. Dinosaurs, then birds perched in trees, or flew from the
ground first.  Both sides of the origin of flight debate still rage today.

     The first tree-dwelling bird (dinosaur descendent, Archaeopteryx) must have evolved after
trees. Or, when did the earliest avian perch on trees? The debate rages, whether avians
evolved from Mezozoic thecodonts, theropods, (or dinosaurs, at all).  Still the topical question
is, ‘Which came first, the tree-dwelling dino, or the flight-adaptive bird?’  Ornithologists differ
in opinion as to a “ground flight” or a “tree flight” origin.  Another question looms: ‘Did flight
occur before trees evolved?’  If so, then the latter opinion on flight origin could hold true. 
Professor Gary Ritchison of Eastern Kentucky University, in his BIO554/754 Ornithology
Lecture Notes 1: “Introduction to Birds”, poses such questions.[xxxvii]

archaeopteryx_on_ginkgo.jpg (97267 bytes) microrap1.jpg (60533 bytes)
Archaeopteryx (Artist's rendition)
Artwork by Luis V. Rey 2003
Microraptor zhaoianus (Artist's rendition)
Painting by Luis V. Rey 2003

     ‘Why are we talking birds and dinos in addition to trees?,’ you ask.  Well, they are all
wrapped up in the process of adaption, environment, and evolution.  Plants took root (a
literal adaptation) to land, and the Devonian (417-354 mya) demise of the major specialist
fishes followed. Trees evolved from there.   Tetrapods climbed out of the swamps to develop
lungs from gills and legs from fins.  We’ll look at supposed cause and effect as an
underlying premise to our argument.

     To continue, ‘Was it Microraptor zhaoianus (a feathered dino) or Archaeopteryx (a proto
bird) who first lived in trees?’ Let’s compare the dates of each bit of evidence:  Archaeopteryx
(Late Jurassic, 206-144 mya), Microraptor (20 million years later than Archaeopteryx), and
Trees (Early Devonian,~370 mya). Scientists have discovered evidence of the earliest
helical-crowned tree found in Lower Pennsylvanian strata (323-290 mya).[xxxviii]  Perhaps it
had good branches to sit upon.

microcorrect1.jpg (177172 bytes) Archaeopteryx.jpg (101870 bytes)
Microraptor zhaoianus (Artist's rendition)
Painting by Luis V. Rey 2003
Archaeopteryx fossil, Eichstatt, Germany
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.org

     Microraptor fossils were uncovered in the Liaoning Province, northeast of Beijing, China.

     So, trees preceded birds as a lifeforms on Earth.  Trees had some 200-odd million years
to develop before the smaller dinosauria and avians.  Then, yes, arboreal creatures had
potential perches and launches for flight. Did birds find better homes in these?  Did they
adapt to flight there?  The answer is still out there.

china_mapquest.gif (65477 bytes)      The helical crowns were found in the U. S.  What about the trees of China, where Arcaheopteryx and Microraptor were found?  Could these trees have branches or leaves that could support the weight of these creatures?  Were both stands of trees similar cladistically or enough in characteristic to branch out, literally?  We will have to look into the fossil record.  We know that Gingko trees populated China about that time in the Early Jurassic (160 mya). 

Map of China from mapquest.com,
customized by Ken Casey

      That means that both Archaeopteryx and Microraptor (and perhaps some undiscovered links)
had megaflora with branches sizeable enough to support them. The earliest perching birds (or
passerines) are believed to have evolved at the time of Gondwana’s great breakup (~160 mya). 
The mild climate of the Late Jurassic supported vast numbers of flora and fauna.  First came the
Order Passeriformes, then divergence into Suborder Tyranni, and into the 5,400 species of Aves
known today.  Biochemical studies have helped to reveal their origins.[xxxix]

     Of course, there were other tree types extant then, but one could better picture today’s
iving Gingko perched full of modern song birds.  The stretch to the imagination is not
far-fetched.  Who knows, perhaps ancient Chinese lore and use of Gingko as a medicine
harken back to such a combined origin of these species. Now that we have visited paleo-China,
let’s move on to our other destinations! World Paleoforests and Dig Sites

 

Antarctica

     Many scientists today study Antarctica.  In past articles, we have discussed geologists,
mainly.  Now we get to go further into our study of the frozen continent!

     This brief jaunt will take us into “paleo-country”, to coin a term.  Underneath the ice, lies
fossil evidence of temperate forests and dinosaurs.  Today, we will focus upon petrified wood.

     Coal and peat beds exist, housing specimens of fossil-mineralized wood.  Scientists of the
University of Kansas Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Edith L. Taylor and
Derek W. Kellogg, have put to us that tiny insects have bored their way into the geologic record.

     In their presented paper, “Evidence of wood-boring mites from the Paleozoic and Mesozoic
of Antarctica”, they state that: “Late Permian, Middle Triassic and Middle Jurassic
permineralized peats from the central Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica have yielded wood
containing tunnels and coprolites preserved within them. The coprolites fall into 5 size classes:
1 in the Permian, 2 in the Triassic and 2 in the Jurassic.”[xl]

     Professor Taylor has offered a resource for our serious scientific study.  With her husband,
Professor Thomas Taylor, they have formed the Division of Paleobotany at the University of
Kansas in 1995.  They had brought their extensive collections of slides with them.  Their
Antarctic Collection is available there today.[xli]

antarctic_petwood2.jpg (138735 bytes)      Two Australian Antarctic explorers, Webb and Fielding, have procured samples of petrified wood from a coal lens at the Lambert Glacier’s graben, North Prince Charles Mountains.

     This Late Permian-Early Triassic feature evidences ancient tree-life there.  It also suggests support of Continental Drift.  I do wonder if similar tree species did exist in India.

(Left): Petrified Wood from Jetty Oasis, Prince Charles Mountains, Antarctica 
Photo courtesy of Maurice de Graaf 2006

     “Before the Cretaceous break-up between Antarctica and India, the Lambert Graben was
probably continuous with the Son-Mahanadi Graben in northeastern India.”[xlii]

     What references on flora can we make here?

     “About 300m above the base of the coal measures is the Dragon's Teeth Member, a thin
lensoidal unit of carbonaceous claystone containing upwards-coarsening sandstone cycles.
The lowermost bed within this member is a silicified peat with abundant petrified wood. The
Dragon's Teeth Member formed in a shallow lake, perhaps dammed by minor earth
movements.”[xliii]

     “Chips of petrified wood as crisp as freshly hewn timber lay scattered under our boots,
despite our being at least 2,000 miles (3,219 kilometers) from the nearest living tree.

’This is probably Glossopteris wood,’ Askin explained, handing me the stump of an ancient
sapling. "It was a deciduous tree that also lived in South America, Africa, India, and Australia.
Finding it in Antarctica was one of the things that proved the continents must have been
linked at one time."[xliv]

     Early discoveries of petrified wood have been reported in the logs of Captain Carl Anton
Larsen of Norway.  During an 1893-94 voyage, he found some on seymour Island.[xlv]

 

Australia

 

     Now, let's warm up to sunny Australia!  We'll just dive right on into the crystal blue ocean
waters, after viewing these handsome specimens:

AUS3.JPG (53389 bytes) AUS83.JPG (65243 bytes) AUS9.JPG (44622 bytes)
Australian petrified wood slab Australian petrified wood slab Australian petrified wood slab

 

OZ1.JPG (61818 bytes) Pentoxylon.jpg (211123 bytes) aussiejohn2.jpg (9566 bytes)
Australian petrified wood slab Pentoxylon (Jurassic), Australia "Aussie john" petrified wood sphere
2006   Photos by and courtesy of:
(Top row; Bottom row, left): Steve Speer, Sticks-in-stones.com
(Bottom row, center): Steve Ervin
(Bottom row, right): Jackie Lapin, SpheresToYou.com

 

Asia

INDO79.JPG (150625 bytes) INDO86.JPG (121938 bytes) Indonesian petrified wood

Photos by and courtesy of Steve Speer, Sticks-in-stones.com 2006

     There are various locales around Asia that bear petrified wood.  Some of the more popular
ones are China and Indonesia.  Thailand now offers a source to visit.  We'll drive, then hike a bit.

Thailand

     “Petrified Wood Park at Ban Krok Duean Ha, Tambon Suranari. The area has a
collection of over 10,000 petrified wood pieces. Petrified wood was unearthed here just
beneath the surface to 8 metres underground.

     The wood is of various sizes from pebbles to rocks with a diametre of over 50
centimetres and some pieces are more than 1 metre long. The wood comes in many
colours in the same stone and in different ones. They are aged between 1 to 70 million
years old. Provincial authorities plan to make this area a petrified wood park and the
first museum of its kind in Asia to conserve these prehistoric treasures for future
generations to study.”[xlvi]

 

Africa

    The continent of Africa holds much petrified wood.  The Island of Madagascar is our
destination.  Take a look at these beautiful spheres and slabs!

MAD19.JPG (52157 bytes) MAD3.JPG (70309 bytes) MAD44.JPG (112549 bytes)
MADPINK1.JPG (9271 bytes) MADPINK2.JPG (8786 bytes) MAD8.JPG (51657 bytes)
Madagascar Petrified Wood Slabs & Spheres
2006  Photos by and courtesy of: Steve Speer, Sticks-in-stones.com and Jackie Lapin, SpheresToYou.com

 

South America

Argentina and Brazil

     Argentina and Brazil both contain paleoforests.  Some of the Argentinian material that we
will virtually collect originated in the Jurassic.  For example, these Araucaria woods and
cones, below:

Araucaria_mirabilis_Jurassic_Argentina_3.jpg (299727 bytes) Araucariaround1.jpg (122032 bytes)
Araucaria mirabilis (Jurassic), Argentina
Courtesy of the Gene Hartstein Collection
Photo by Ken Casey  2006

 

Araucaria Round
Photo courtesy of Steve Ervin
Araucariacone2.jpg (36158 bytes) CONE1.JPG (354860 bytes)
Araucaria cone
Photo courtesy of Steve Ervin
Modern Pine cone
Photo b Ken Casey  2006


     There are ranches, and other private lands, at which we can obtain permission to collect
some prized specimens.  If you don't want to carry much, then just buy some online when we
return to the clubhouse!

     "Argentina's Central Steppes are home to the Petrified Forest and inhabited by a number
of animals, including the burrowing owl, mara, and lesser rheas.

The Petrified Forest
     Millions of years ago, after the formation of the Andes mountains, volcanic ash covered
the early forests -- killing the trees, but preserving them from decay. Mineral-saturated
water seeped through the ash and into the buried logs, filling the empty cells of the
decaying wood until they fossilized and turned to stone.

ARG15.JPG (95618 bytes) ARG35.JPG (104275 bytes) ARGB2.JPG (79283 bytes)
Argentinian Petrified Wood Polished Slabs
  Photos by and courtesy of Steve Speer, Sticks-in-stones.com   2006

     Considered to be one of the world's best petrified reserves, the Petrified Forest has many
trees that measure more than 10 feet in diameter and 90 feet long. Compared to petrified trees
in the United States and Australia that measure less than six feet in diameter, the trees of the
Central Steppes are significantly larger.”[xlvii]

pwoodfern2.jpg (7465 bytes) Tietea.jpg (110341 bytes) FERNEYES.JPG (11559 bytes)
Orange fernwood sphere, Brazil Tietea (Permian), Brazil Fossil fernwood sphere, Brazil
BZ65.JPG (46299 bytes) BZDOX9.JPG (69514 bytes) BZRND26.JPG (51929 bytes)
2006   Photos by and courtesy of:
(Top row, center): Steve Ervin; (Top row, left and right): Jackie Lapin, SpheresToYou.com
(Bottom row; Top row, left): Steve Speer, Sticks-in-stones.com

 

Paleoforestry and Conservation

     Paleoforest management to date, has been a compendium of forestry and park
preservation.  In the U. S., most of these public lands are administered by parks
departments, rather than by forestry services.

     As it is generally against the law to collect specimens from these protected lands,
many visitors still can’t resist to sample the colorful fossils, strewn about the landscape,
like candy.  When park rangers at the Petrified Forest National Park ask of guests
upon their exiting the park, most people admit to procuring a piece for posterity. 
Guiltily, most hand them back to the admonishing ranger.

     Plant fossils can be poached on a large scale, too.  This massive removal by
“miners” without a claim prompted government officials to enact tougher penalties,
or just to extend a park’s boundaries to protect the resource.

     A case has been made at the 2005 Botany Conference by several concerned
scientists about a Nevada paleoarbor, the Lund Petrified Forest:

     “Scientific investigation of the little known Lund Petrified Forest in northwestern Nevada
has revealed more than 250 mappable occurrences of petrified wood remains. Sites
range from pits left from past tree removal by bulldozers and dynamite to large stumps
up to 4.5 m (15 ft.) in diameter buried upright in place by a volcanic tuff. This ash-flow
tuff is not yet dated, but its position at the local base of the caldera section suggests a
Miocene age of ca. 16.0-15.5 Ma. Analysis of the wood structure suggests some of the
large stumps are most similar to sequoiadendron giganteum (bigtree, giant sequoia),
which today grows in small scattered stands restricted to the western slope of the
central to southern Sierra Nevada at elevations between 1220 to 2560 m (4000 to
8400 ft.). Work is underway with the Bureau of Land Management to develop a plan
to preserve the trees for research and recreation by developing means to minimize the
effects of freeze/thaw weathering, uprooting of stumps from the overgrowth of
vegetation, and unauthorized collecting. Once dominated by a forest of towering giants,
today the Lund area is replaced by a high desert sagebrush community, yet another
sobering reminder of the profound impact climate change has on the landscape, life
and distribution of organisms through time.”[xlviii]

     Sadly, not all resources can be saved in situ.  Some must be relocated, or more
practically, samples taken and housed in a research facility archive.

     “Collections-based research has become an increasingly important source of both
physical and digital data.   In paleobotany, conservation of collections is particularly
important as some sites may no longer exist, and increasing regulations or
preservation of sites may have limited further field work.  In the case of remote
localities where additional collecting may be cost prohibitive, maintenance of existing
and historical material is crucial.”[xlix]

Division of Paleobotany homepage

 

Parks and Paleoforests

 

Petrified Forest of Lesvos, Greece

Petrified Forest National Monument, Santa Cruz Province, Central Steppes, Patagonia,
Argentina (Bosque Petrificado)

Petrified Forest of Puyango, Ecuador

Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Denmark, Mexico, China, Japan[l]

 

Today and Tomorrow Trees (An Aside)

     A curious site would be seeing a bird sitting upon a petrified tree.  And, ‘Will todays’
genetically engineered trees of today become tomorrow’s petrified wood?’  --Ken Casey

     Now that we have a scientific context for our favored petrified wood, we can indulge a
short journey of the imagination.  What can ask ourselves, ‘What is the appeal of petrified
wood?’  Is it the rainbow colors, or maybe that it looks like would, but is not real?  We
will delve into lapidary, shortly.  But first, we have another stop—into Navajo lands.  Of
course, I waited until we were invited, so let’s go in.

     We have seen into the geologic past into ancient biotic realms.  Our search for
knowledge has brought us closer to understanding the origins and development of our
modern trees.  Personally, I revel at the fact that some species have remained nearly
unchanged for mega-millions of years!

     As our imagination has been brightened by example and our urge to explore the past,
we must include at least one view derived for a people before modern science.  From a
cultural perspective, families, groups, and individuals have carried on either an oral or
written tradition.  These stories recount what their ancestors passed on to them as
accounts of nature and creation of petrified wood.  Our example this trip will be a visit to
the Navajo Creation Story.

 

Lore

Native American

     On our last excursion, we mentioned that Paiute and Navajo peoples considered to
be earthly evidence of the divine, as based in their oral traditions.

     “Native Americans had various beliefs about the origin of the petrified logs in what is
now Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. Natives of the Paiute tribe held that these
giant petrifications were spent arrow shafts and spears dispatched by the Thunder God
Shinauav and his enemies during a great battle. Members of the Navajo tribe believed
they were the bones of the great giant monster Yeitso.”[li]

     In the Navajo Creation story, petrified wood was part of the seeding of the earth
of all plants:

“In each hole was dropped two kinds of seed. In each hole was dropped a seed of the
small Sun Flower and a seed of the Big Sunflower. After First Woman had planted this
she began to plant all of the plants, evergreens, firs, pines and all things that had been
created and are on the earth today. From a clayey material were created the other plants
and trees. After the ascension this vegetation turned into rocks and was washed up here
as petrified wood. The seeds were thrown into the wind which carried them and buried
them beneath the sand. The earth at this time was very small so First Man threw the
seeds all over the earth very easily. Upon each of the mountains First Man planted trees.”[lii]

     Perhaps this is allegorical, alluding to a single landmass, like Pangea, as being
“small” without having to cross oceans to travel. The “ascension” could be the long-term
lifecycle of trees over geologic time.  I do not want to presuppose that I could understand
and interpret sacred stories and texts, as I do respect them.  Only, that the Navajo people
have shared their Creation story with us; and to me, this passage seems to make sense,
as witnessed in the terms of modern science.  It is my personal view, I mean not to offend.

 

Metaphysical Properties

     Various properties have been attributed to our favored stone this month, Petrified
Wood.  It’s physical colors and textures have been [a]ssociated with stability, security,
strength, longevity, grounding, calmness and wisdom. Helps us communicate with trees. 
Teaches us to respect old people and ancient knowledge.”[liii]

     Some folks like to gaze into or at stones, focusing their mind’s eye.  Hoping to
ascertain the answer to a question, to heal, or just to meditate, each viewer has his or
her own goal in mind: “Like looking into the layers of the tree, petrified wood aids us into
looking into our own past, and learning from our mistakes to create a better future. It can
also aid in past life regression works, and help us understand the evolution of our own
incarnations: past, present and future.

     It is very grounding, being able to stabilize emotions and help to release worries,
bringing courage and strength. Especially useful to heal the skeletal system, skin, and
hair; but it can increase our overall health and lifespan.”[liv]

     European Renaissance jewelers have been known to pick up and stare at any green
stone, as this verdurous view would clear their vision, as if they could go outdoors and
look at trees.  I have not had success with this method in my jewelry work, but prefer,
instead to go outdoors and admire the trees themselves.  I would suggest to you, after
having read this far, to do the same, for a break, if you like.  When you come back,
we’ll retire to the world of fiction.

 

Tree Realms

     I wonder if Enya’s 1995 song “The Memory of Trees” could be thought to refer to
an ancient Irish spiritual belief of the importance of the majesty of tree spirits.  An early
European scientist theorized that all plants had souls.  I am curious if petrified wood
forest’s colossal spirit still graces Mother Earth.

     Some metaphysicians and healers look to a similarly esoteric viewpoint,
concerning its practical uses: “I have found no truth in the alleged connection of the tree
rings making Petrified Wood sympathetic to the maladies of our own body and circulatory
system. However because of the minerals that are usually involved, see my entries on
Agate, Fossils, and Opalized as it can be this also.”[lv]

     The author goes on to offer his remedy.

 

 

Books and Movies

     As early as 1880, “Famous writer Robert Louis Stevenson visits Charles Evans and
his Petrified Forest. Stevenson recounts his visit in his booklet, The Silverado Squatters.
(more)”[lvi]

     Before that, though, the Brothers Grimm write upon the backdrop of an enchanted
forest.  When I did a Yahoo! search for “petrified forest”, one result made mention of the
new fictional movie about their lives.  It made me think that “petrified” also mean afraid,
as many of this writing duo’s characters were loath to be.

     Last month, I had mentioned a good old-time movie, called ‘The Petrified Forest
(1936), based on a stage play. The film starred Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart, and
took place in the Arizona desert.  Have you seen it, yet?  I bought my own copy.  I
wonder what challenges there would be to colorize it, that is, every log in the scenery?

     Going further, one might imagine a colorful landscape in fiction if, say, the Painted
Desert’s multi-hued petrified forest came to life.  Perhaps, by using the oil-painting
technique used by cinetographers to create the background in the Robin Williams
movie, What Dreams May Lie, we could better see it.

     When the Ents went on the warpath in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (books and
movies), didn’t they seem to be lifeless and petrified, having lived eons before the
characters became animated?  How about
those cantankerous apple trees in the
Wizard of Oz,or the viscious ones in the Harry Potter books and movies?

     There is so much lore about trees and references to petrified wood throughout
history, and across cultures.  As this wood, this mineral, this fossil can be above-ground
laden on seven continents, it waits for us to pick it up and admire it.  We can readily
view its lightplay of many colors inspiring us to collect it, or form it into an object of
polished beauty.  It can beckon us to become enlightened as to its deep history and
rare and unique countenance.

 

Lapidary

    

     Last month we have been treated to a look at sculptor Gary Nickel's petrified wood and gemstone
art.  This month, our gallery features two more of his magnificent pieces!

FishSide.gif (17250 bytes) Leo.jpg (267187 bytes) Old_Opal_Eye.jpg (450941 bytes)
Leo & Pisces   (Pisces side) Leo & Pisces (Leo side) Old Opal Eye

     Gary still makes his offer for March for a: Special Offer for Delaware Mineralogical Society Members.

     Jamie Huddleston of Letterink Art, Belmont, Michigan, has offered a take on sculpting petwood. 
Pure and simple, the approach here is to take the wood, as it is is found, then bring out its unique
character in rounded shapes.   Here are a few examles below:

33B2s.gif (40779 bytes) 7A.GIF (432813 bytes) 74A.GIF (222352 bytes)

Petrified Wood sculptures by Petrified Wood Art
Photos courtesy of Jamie Huddleston, Letterink Art

     Now, we turn our attention to Sphere-making.

     As we know from last month's excursion, petrified wood is available as rough as agate,
jasper, quartz, chalcedony, opal, calcium carbonate, and pyrite.  We can form it into virtually
any shape, and can highly polish the quartz-like wood.  Three of the best shapes to appreciate
its inherent grainy beauty are: slabs, cabs, and spheres.  If you are wondering about the
intricacies of making the perfect sphere, look at the simplified diagram in step below:

stepstomakingasphere2.gif (11542 bytes)

     A good website that better demonstrates this technique can be found in the United Kingdom. 
The sphere-makers at Mineral & Rock in the UK use a combination of diamond and silicon carbide
tools to cut the rock.  It is very labor-intensive, compared to making cabachons.  The symmetry is
extremely important to achieve.  Otherwise, your sphere will look misshapen, even to the untrained
eye. 

     The author of their website explains sphere-making in eight steps.  In summary, these are:
(1.) carefully choose your rough, (2.) cut it into a cube, (3.) cut cube several times to achieve an
octagon on all sides, (4.) use grindstone to round of all edges, (5.) to the lathe with a diamond
cutting tool, (6.) Reduce over several polishing grits in lathe with wooden cups, (7.) employ buffing
wheel for final sheen, and (8.) three days in a tumbler.[lvii]

     To see the results of work from lapidaries around the world shown on one website, visit the
SpheresToYou.com Petrified Wood Pages.  Owner Jackie Lapin offers thousands for sale at her
California showroom.  She has sizes from the mibster's marbles and up.  Jackie was so kind as to
allow us to borrow many of her sphere images for our MOTM articles.  She has also granted us a
very informative interview:

 YELWOOD.JPG (9825 bytes)  MADPINK3.JPG (11059 bytes)  PAKWOOD2.JPG (10593 bytes)  pwoodfern.jpg (7465 bytes)  redbrwood.jpg (10223 bytes)  bluforest1.jpg (12585 bytes)  brentwood19.jpg (11031 bytes)  centercream.jpg (10407 bytes)  centerline.jpg (10414 bytes)  cherry375.jpg (12509 bytes)    

 

 

Interview with Jackie Lapin of Spheres To You

 

KBC: How did you choose to get into spheres? And, how did it grow?
JL: I went to a gem and mineral show because I love jewelry and gems. I cute little snowflake obsidian sphere caught my eye and then a pampas onyx (glassy olive green and mustard color). They just called to me, so to speak. By the next show I was hooked. My personal collection now runs to 600 pieces. I assumed that since I was this addicted there would be others like me and I might be able to share my love for spheres. That's how Sphere's To You came to be.

 

KBC: You created ATMOSPHERE, The Society for the Appreciation of Spheres. Would you tell us a little more about it?
JL: As we began to develop our market and gather sphere enthusiasts, we realized that people who were interested in spheres wanted to know more about spheres and would enjoy the benefits of a Club Membership. So we created an organization that would entitle them to a newsletter and a discount for their initial purchases. In the early years we also held an annual meeting in Tucson at the time of the show so members could meet, but many of our members could not coordinate their schedules. Thus today, our primary connection is the newsletter. People expressed a desire to know more and so we began the newsletter, at first by mail and now exclusively online and by email. Folks can register for membership on our site.

 

KBC: Your newsletter, The Spherical World, offers articles on and tips on care for one’s sphere collection. What possible ideas could we look forward to in upcoming issues?
(By the way, Congratulations on ten years of publication!)
JL: Thanks for your nice words. This newsletter comes out twice yearly. Care is covered in many of the back issues that are available on the site. Mostly today, you'll learn about the newest materials being sphered, what types of spheres come from different regions of the world, what's hot and new in the sphere world, profiles of interesting people, collecting tips, etc.

 

KBC: About what percentage of members, would you say, collect Petrified Wood spheres?
JL: Under 5% collect exclusively petrified wood, but many people include petrified wood in a larger overall collection.

 

KBC: What are some of the most popular diameter sizes folks collect?
JL: generally 2-3.5 inches on average...but we have up to 6 inches in petrified wood and other materials

 

KBC: What is your favorite specimen in your collection today?
JL: There are so many...it's like asking a mother which is her favorite child! But as a group I love the condor agates, the vast variety and color of ocean jasper, a whole spectrum of agates (mexican lace, brazilian, moss agate and more). I love clear quartz rutilated with gold rutile and all kinds of other colored rutile (iron/red, diosite/green, black tourmaline/black, etc) . Geodes with brilliantly colored druzy--my most recent has a coral color. And then there are the fabulous speciality pieces, Australian, Oregon and Canadian Opals; starred-garnets and rose quartz; fiery red sphalerite; gem stone spheres of blue topaz, rubellite, emerald and Ukrainian aquamarine.

 

KBC: Do you know of anyone who chooses to employ their spheres to play games with as “marbles”?
JL: Yes...we are also the leading seller of natural mineral marbles in the world--everything from .25 inches up to 1.25. We have lots of call for marbles, and a select group that wants to get "aggies" for marble play. These often are grandfather's wanting to share their youthful experience with their grandchildren.

 

KBC: You have a showroom in southern California. How many spheres might we see today, if we came in?
JL: Probably 1000-1500 are on display, but we have more then 8,500 in the inventory (much of it in labeled boxes). So a good thing to do is look on the site before you come and if what you want isn't out where you can see it, we'll pull it out of the boxes when you get here.

 

KBC: I’m impressed with your extensive online offers of Petrified Wood Spheres.
JL: Thanks! We work to find the greatest variety and most beautiful spheres of any type in the world. Over the past 15 years, we've come to develop a fair knowledge of what is available and how to keep our stock interesting to petrified wood collectors.

 

KBC: Your knowledge on the subject inspires me to look more into the specialty hobby of collecting and making them. Have you considered writing a book on spheres?
JL: Actually, there is one already in development by the man who has the world's largest collection, so no need for me to duplicate it. He's doing it in his leisure time, so I couldn't say when it will be out, but I know that Jeff Scovil, the best photographer in the mineral world is doing the photography.

 

KBC: Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers about the joy of sphere collecting?
JL: Spherestoyou.com has been a labor of love for me throughout the years. There is something so lovely about having a symmetrical symbol of earth's beauty in your hands or in your vision. We welcome visitors to share our passion and to come our site and our showroom if they are in California. Jeff Donovan, who handles customer and collector relations, is a great resource on just about everything in the inventory, and can be especially helpful to people who are looking into the metaphysical or energy value of a particular stone. Don't hesitate to give him a call (818) 991 5143. Thanks for inviting me to share my love and enjoyment of spheres. Sphere's To You! Jackie

 

KBC: Thank you, Jackie, for sharing with us today.           cherry375.jpg (12509 bytes)    

 

 

Links

University of California, Berkeley, Museum of Paleontology
Botanical Society of America (BSA)
INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION of PALYNOLOGICAL SOCIETIES (PALYNOS)
University of Arizona Palynology Site
The Cycad Society
Hunting For Fossil Cycads in Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
Western Interior Paleontological Society
UC Berkeley’s Geologic Time Scale
The Petrified forest of Lesvos - Protected Natural Monument
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petrified_wood

 


Endnotes


[i]  Wikipedia. “Linnean Taxonomy”. 12 Feb 2006. 27 Feb 2006
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linnaean_taxonomy>

[ii]  Wikipedia. “International Code of Botanical Nomenclature”. 18 Jan 2006. 27 Feb 2006
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Code_of_Botanical_Nomenclature>

[iii]  Speer, Brian R. “UCMP Taxon Lift”. Dec 2000. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/help/taxaform.html>

[iv] Lucier, Paul. “Evolution’s Rocky Beginnings”. American Scientist Online: The Magazine
of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
. Jan-Feb 2006. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.americanscientist.org/template/BookReviewTypeDetail/assetid/48662?&print=yes>

[v] Guinness World Records 2006: Natural World: Plant World: Earliest Tree: Longest
Surviving Tree
. 2005. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/index.asp?id=47364>

[vi]  Wikipedia. “Late Devonian Extinction”. 15 Jan 2006. 27 Feb 2006
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late_Devonian_extinction>

[vii]  Speer, Brian R.; Alexander, Chave; Chang, Henry; Tsai, Carl; Wu, Peggy.
“The Permian: 290 to 248 Million Years Ago”. University of California, Berkeley,
Museum of Paleontology (UCMP). 11 May 1998. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/permian/permian.html>

[viii] Speer, Brian R.; Asaravala, Manish; Lamb, Hayley; Litty, Stephanie; Phillips, Jason;
Wu, Ting-Ting. “The Triassic Period: 248 to 206 Million Years Ago“.University of California,
Berkeley, Museum of Paleontology (UCMP).  1 May 2000. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/mesozoic/triassic/triassic.html>

[ix] Speer, Brian R.; Waggoner, Ben. “The Jurassic Period: 206 to 144 Million Years Ago”.
University of California, Berkeley, Museum of Paleontology (UCMP).  28 Nov 1995.
27 Feb 2006
<http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/mesozoic/jurassic/jurassintro.html>

[x]  New Zealand Ministry for the Environment. “The state of New Zealand’s biodiversity”.
1997. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/ser/ser1997/html/chapter9.7.1.html>

[xi]  West, Ian M. “The Fossil Forest – east of Lulworth Cove, Dorset: Geology of the
Wessex Coast of Southern England”. School of Ocean and Earth Sciences, Southampton
University, UK. 11 Jun 2005. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.soton.ac.uk/~imw/forest.htm>

[xii]  Wikipedia. “Lycopodiophyta”. 21 Feb 2006. 27 Feb 2006
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lycopodiophyta>

[xiii]  Wikipedia. “Xylem”. 21 Feb 2006. 27 Feb 2006
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xylem>

[xiv]  Wikipedia. “Xylem”. 21 Feb 2006. 27 Feb 2006
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xylem>

[xv]  Wikipedia. “Phloem”. 25 Feb 2006. 27 Feb 2006
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phloem>

[xvi]  Wikipedia. “Vascular Cambium”. 13 Feb 2006. 27 Feb 2006
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambium>

[xvii]  Wikipedia. “Phytolith”. 27 Feb 2005. 27 Feb 2006
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phytolith>

[xviii]  Horner, Harry T.; Jernstedt, Judy. Botanical Society of America: Online Image
Collection: Image: “Calcium oxalate crystals in plant organs” and “About the Image”.
1 Dec 2005. 28 Feb 2006
<http://www.botany.org/plantimages/ImageData.asp?IDN=abot92-12>

[xix] Guralnick, Rob; Collins, Allen; Waggoner, Ben; Speer, Brian; Whitney, Colleen;
Smith, David. “Introduction to Phylogeny”. University of California, Berkeley, Museum of
Paleontology (UCMP). Jul 2000. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/exhibit/introphylo.html>

[xx]  Collins, Allen G.; Guralnick, Rob; Speer, Brian R.; Smith, David. “Journey Into
Phylogenetic Systematics: An Introduction to Cladistics”. University of California, Berkeley,
Museum of Paleontology (UCMP). 4 Oct 2005. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/clad/clad1.html>

[xxi]  Collins, Allen G.; Guralnick, Rob; Speer, Brian R.; Smith, David
<http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/clad/clad1.html>

[xxii]  Taylor, Wilson A.; Botanical Society of America: Botany Conference 2004:
Paleobotanical section: session 5-3: Paper Presentation: “The case for land flora in the
Cambrian – ultrastructural evidence”.  ID 240. 2 Aug 2004. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.2004.botanyconference.org/engine/search/index.php?func=detail&aid=240>

[xxiii]   Scherer, Jacqueline; Upchurch, Garland. Botanical Society of America: Botany
Conference 2005: Paleobotanical section: session 26-4: Oral Paper Presentation:
“Paleobotanical evidence on latitudinal temperature gradients and mechanisms of climatic
warming during the Late Cretaceous”. Abstract ID 248. 16 Aug 2005. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.2005.botanyconference.org/engine/search/index.php?func=detail&aid=248>

[xxiv] Green, W. A.; Hickey, L. J; Botanical Society of America: Botany Conference 2004:
Paleobotanical section: session 42-2: Paper Presentation: “If a Forest Falls, Do the Trees
Hear It? Eco-morphological Dynamics of the Cretaceous-Tertiary Boundary Event”.
Abstract ID 892. 4 Aug 2004. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.2004.botanyconference.org/engine/search/index.php?func=detail&aid=892>

[xxv]  Kellogg, Derek; Klavins, Sharon D.; Taylor, Thomas N.; Taylor, Edith L.; Botanical
Society of America: Botany Conference 2004: Paleobotanical section: session 42-5: Paper
Presentation: “Were early cycads insect pollinated?”. Abstract ID 669. 4 Aug 2004.
27 Feb 2006
<http://www.2004.botanyconference.org/engine/search/index.php?func=detail&aid=669>

[xxvi]  Ryberg, Patricia E.; Taylor, Edith L.; Botanical Society of America: Botany Conference
2005: Paleobotanical section: session 26-3: Oral Paper Presentation: “Fossil tree rings as
paleoclimatic indicators in the Permian and Triassic of Antarctica”. Abstract ID 98. 16 Aug 2005.
27 Feb 2006
<http://www.2005.botanyconference.org/engine/search/index.php?func=detail&aid=98>

[xxvii]  Rember, William C. “The Clarkia Flora of northern Idaho”. Tertiary Research Center.
University of Idaho, College of Mines & Earth Resources. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.mines.uidaho.edu/~tertiary/>

[xxviii]  Wikipedia. “Plant”. 27 Feb 2006. 27 Feb 2006
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant>

[xxix]  McLamb, Eric; Hall, Jack C.; “The Quiet Evolution of Trees”. Ecology
Communications, Inc. 2004. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.ecology.com/feature-stories/quiet-evolution-of-trees/>

[xxx]  xfrog. “XfrogPlants Archaeopteris”. Turbo Squid, Inc. 2006. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.turbosquid.com/FullPreview/Index.cfm/ID/273672>

[xxxi]  Speer, Brian R.; “Introduction to the Lycophyta: Club mosses and Scale trees”.
University of California, Berkeley, Museum of Paleontology (UCMP).  22 Jan 1006.
27 Feb 2006
<http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/plants/lycophyta/lycophyta.html>

[xxxii]  Wikipedia. “Lycopodiophyta”. 21 Feb 2006. 27 Feb 2006
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lycopodiophyta>

[xxxiii]  Speer, Brian R.; Asaravala, Manish; Lamb, Hayley; Litty, Stephanie; Phillips, Jason;
Wu, Ting-Ting.
<http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/mesozoic/triassic/triassic.html>

[xxxiv]  Kazlev, M. Alan. “Palaeos: Triassic Terrestrial Ecosystems”. 4 sep 2003.
27 Feb 2006
<http://www.palaeos.com/Mesozoic/Triassic/trterrestrial.html>

[xxxv]  Cairns, Ann, Geological Society of America. “How trees changed the world”.
Earth Systems Processes Meeting. 26 Jun 2001. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2001-06/GSoA-Htct-2506101.php>

[xxxvii] Ritchison, Gary. “BIO 554/754: Ornithology: Lecture Notes 1: Introduction to Birds”.
Eastern Kentucky University. 27 Feb 2006
<http://people.eku.edu/ritchisong/554notes1.html>

[xxxviii]  Gastaldo, R. A.; Auburn University, Department of Geology. “Earliest evidence
for helical crown configuration in a carboniferous tree of uncertain affinity”. Journal of
Paleontology: 64:1. U. S. Department of Energy, Energy Citations Database.
OSTI ID: 6693599. 1 Jan 1990. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.osti.gov/energycitations/product.biblio.jsp?osti_id=6693599>

[xxxix]  Wikipedia. “Passerine”. 22 Feb 2006
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passerine>

[xl]  Kellogg, Derek W.; Taylor, Edith L.; Botanical Society of America: Botany
Conference 2002: Paleobotanical section 7: Presentation: “Evidence of wood-boring
mites from the Paleozoic and Mesozoic of Antarctica”. Abstract ID 21. Aug 2002.
27 Feb 2006
<http://www.botany2002.org/section7/abstracts/18.shtml>

[xli]   Paleobotancal Collections Database. University of Kansas. 21 Jan 2006.
27 Feb 2006
<http://paleobotany.bio.ku.edu/PaleoCollections.htm>

[xlii]  Nichols, G. T.; School of Earth Sciences, University of Tasmania. “Abstracts,
Prince Charles Mountains Workshop, June 1991”. Originally published in 1982 as
Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE) Research notes.
27 Feb 2006
<http://www-aadc.aad.gov.au/ten_facts/stations_territories/pcm/workshop1991_text.asp>

[xliv]  Smith, Roff. “Frozen Under”. National Geographic. 2001. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www7.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/data/2001/12/01/html/ft_20011201.1.html>

[xlv]  “History: The Hunters Return”.  Antarctica Online. 1998. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.antarcticaonline.com/antarctica/history/history.htm>

[xlvi]  “Nakonratchasima: Attractions: City Attractions”. ThaihotelsLinks.com. 2002.
27 Feb 2006
<http://www.thaihotelslinks.com/Nakonratchasima/attrations01.php>

[xlviii]  Erwin, Diane M.; Schorn, Howard E.; Smith, Regina C.; Levy, Laura M.;
Millar, Constance I.; Westfall, Robert D.; King, John C.; Moran, Virginia S.;
Botanical Society of America: Botany Conference 2005: Paleobotanical section:
session: 33-63: Poster Presentation: “Nevada’s buried treasure: The Lund Petrified Forest”.
Abstract ID 271. 16 Aug 2005. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.2005.botanyconference.org/engine/search/index.php?func=detail&aid=271>

[xlix]  Serbet, Rudolph; Taylor, Edith L.; Botanical Society of America: Botany Conference
2005: Paleobotanical section: session: 32-4: Oral Paper Presentation: “Paleobotanical
collections: conservation and management for future research”. Abstract ID 71.
16 Aug 2005. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.2005.botanyconference.org/engine/search/index.php?func=detail&aid=71>

[l]  Wanner, Amy. Earlham College: Earlham Physical Geology 2005: “Petrified Wood”.
21 sep 2005. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.earlham.edu/~wanneam/geology/petrifiedwood.htm>

[li]  “Petrified Wood/Origins & Explanations”. NZ Legacy. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.nzlegacy.com/petrified_wood.htm>

[lii]  The Internet Sacred Text Archive: “In the Beginning: A Navaho Creation Myth”.
Told by Frank Goldtooth. Recorded by Stanley A. Fishler. Page 9. 1953. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.sacred-texts.com/nam/nav/itb/itb03.htm>

[liii]  “Welcome to the Nest of the Snow Owl: Petrified Wood”. 28 Feb 2006
<http://www.snowwowl.com/rlstoneprops.html#PETRIFIED%20WOOD1>

[liv]  Airuma: Gemstone Lore – Page “P to R”: Petrified Wood”.  27 Feb 2006
<http://www.airuma.com/gemP.htm#Petrified%20Wood:>

[lv]  DenElder. “OOTLB Book #3 – Crystal Magick”. 2006. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.denelder.com/crystals/petrified.html>

[lvi] “The Petrified Forest: Timeline”. The Petrified Forest, Calistoga, California. 28 Feb 2006
<http://www.petrifiedforest.org/histimegeo.html>

[lvii] “Making a Sphere from Welsh Marble”. Mineral & Rock Online Sales, UK. 2002.
28 Feb 2006
<http://www.spheres.fsworld.co.uk/makesphere.htm>

 

Member's Gallery

     As time goes on after the publication of our club's articles, I have set up a place in
which members can continue to add and share their topical photos.  What's cool is that
we get to enjoy them, as well.  (Just click on the photo to view a larger version!)

carls_pwood1.jpg (234041 bytes) carls_pwood_closeup.jpg (344485 bytes) glossopteris3.jpg (325772 bytes) glossopteris1.jpg (391602 bytes) glossopteris2.jpg (351642 bytes)
Polished round of Petrified Wood,
Carl Muendel

 

Close-up of Carl's Polished Round Glossopteris leaves
(Permian) Australia,
Don Miller
Don's Glossopteris fossil, bottom Don's Glossopteris fossil, top
glossopteris_closeup2.jpg (396450 bytes) Araucaria_mirabilis_Jurassic_Argentina_4.jpg (335617 bytes) DSC04782_de_petwood.jpg (212328 bytes) DSC04784_de_petwood.jpg (183084 bytes)  

Members,

Your Petrified Wood or Tree-related fossil photo can go here!

Close-up of Don's Glossopteris fossil
(Note to leaf detail)
Araucaria mirabilis
(Jurassic) Argentina, Gene Hartstein
Petrified Log,
Odessa, Delaware,
Karissa Hendershot
Karissa's petwood log weighs about 400-lbs.!

 

Until Next Time

     We hope you have enjoyed our travels around the globe in search of Petrified Wood.  We
may have gained more of an understanding of the ancient living environments in which they
evolved.  If your head is swimming in science, it's okay to go back and just review the pictures
of our journey, until next time, when we take another amazing virtual fieldtrip.   Thanks for coming!
     Until then, stay safe, and happy collecting. hardhat2a.gif (5709 bytes)
 

 

Article Contributors (Interviews)

Dr. Stephen Ervin, Professor of Zoology - Emeritus, CSU, Corvus Home Page

Jackie Lapin, Spheres To You

 

Photo & Graphics Credits

I would like to gratefully acknowledge the generous contributions of our fellow petrified wood
enthusiasts, collectors, authors, curators, professionals, and club members who made this
work possible. 
Thanks.

Dr. Stephen Ervin, Professor of Zoology - Emeritus, CSU, Corvus Home Page

Jackie Lapin and Family, Spheres To You

Steve Speer and Family, Sticks-in-Stones Lapidary

Gene Hartstein, Harstein Fossils, and DMS Member

Gary Nickel, Sculptor, Inventor, The Gemstone Art of Gary Nickel

Jamie Huddleston, Letterink Art, Belmont, Michigan

John D. Curtis, Biology Department, University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point

Nels R. Lersten, Department of Botany, Iowa State University

Michael D. Nowak, Biology Department, University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point

Laura Lee, Director, Iron Hill Museum, Delaware Academy of Science, Newark, Delaware

Cherie Keenan, Iron Hill Museum, Delaware Academy of Science, Newark, Delaware

Karissa Hendershot, President, The Delaware Mineralogical Society

Luis V. Rey, Luis V. Rey's Art Gallery: Dinosaur and Paleontology

Don Miller, Delaware Mineralogical Society Member

Carl Muendel, Delaware Mineralogical Society Member

Dr. Bernie Gunn, Ross Sea Info

Maurice de Graaf, Chalcedony (var. Petrifed Wood): Antarctica

Jolyon Ralph, Mindat.org

Harry T. Horner, Iowa State University, Botanical Society of America (Calcium oxalate crystals)

Reinhard Kraasch from wikipedia

Institute for Geophysics, University of Texas (Pangea)

Mapquest.com (Map of China)



2006  All contributions to this article are covered under the copyright protection of this article
and by
separate and several copyright protection(s), and are to be used for the sole purposes of
enjoying this scholarly article.  They are u
sed gratefully with express written permission of the
authors, save for generally-accepted scholarly quotes, short in nature, deemed legal to reference
with the appropriate citation and credit.
  Reproduction of this article must be obtained by express
written permission of the author, Kenneth B. Ca
sey, for his contributions, authoring, photos, and
graphics.  U
se of all other credited materials requires permission of each contributor separately.

Links and general contact information are included in the credits above, and throughout this article.
The advice offered herein are only suggestions; it is the reader's charge to use the information
contained herein responsibly.  DMS is not responsible for misuse or accidents caused from this
article. All opinions, theories, proofs, and views expressed within this article, and in others on this
website, do not necessarily reflect the views of the Delaware Mineralogical Society.
 

Suggested Reading

 

Petrified Forests: The World's 31 Most Beautiful Petrified Forests by Ulrich Dernbach

secrets of Petrified Plants: Fascination Form Millions of Years by Ulrich Dernbach

Petrified Wood : The World of Fossilized Wood, Cones, Ferns, and Cycads
by Frank J. Daniels

Petrified wood in the U.S.A: Where to collect it where to see it
(A state -by-state field guide)
by Arthur Manning

Identifying Wood : Accurate Results with Simple Tools by R. Bruce Hoadley

Petrified Forest: A Story in Stone by Sidney R. Ash

The Brothers Grimm: From Enchanted Forests to the Modern World by Jack Zipes

 

About the Author:

KEN.JPG (31503 bytes)

     Ken is current webmaster of the Delaware Mineralogical Society.  He has a diploma in Jewelry Repair, Fabrication & Stonesetting from the Bowman Technical School, Lancaster, PA, and worked as jeweler.  He has also studied geology at the University of Delaware.  And, he is currently a member of the Delaware Mineralogical Society and the Franklin-Ogdensburg Mineralogical Society.  E-mail: kencasey98@yahoo.com.


 

Webliography

 

Wikipedia. “Linnean Taxonomy”. 12 Feb 2006. 27 Feb 2006
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linnaean_taxonomy>

Wikipedia. “International Code of Botanical Nomenclature”. 18 Jan 2006. 27 Feb 2006
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Code_of_Botanical_Nomenclature>

Brian R. Speer. “UCMP Taxon Lift”. Dec 2000. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/help/taxaform.html>

Paul Lucier. “Evolution’s Rocky Beginnings”. American Scientist Online: The Magazine
of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society. Jan-Feb 2006. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.americanscientist.org/template/BookReviewTypeDetail/assetid/48662?&print=yes>

Guinness World Records 2006: Natural World: Plant World: Earliest Tree: Longest
Surviving Tree. 2005. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/index.asp?id=47364>

Wikipedia. “Late Devonian Extinction”. 15 Jan 2006. 27 Feb 2006
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late_Devonian_extinction>

Brian R. Speer; Chave Alexander; Henry Chang; Carl Tsai; Peggy Wu. “The Permian:
290 to 248 Million Years Ago”. University of California, Berkeley, Museum of Paleontology
(UCMP). 11 May 1998. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/permian/permian.html>

Brian R. Speer; Manish Asaravala; Hayley Lamb; Stephanie Litty; Jason Phillips;
Ting-Ting Wu. “The Triassic Period: 248 to 206 Million Years Ago“.University of California,
Berkeley, Museum of Paleontology (UCMP).  1 May 2000. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/mesozoic/triassic/triassic.html>

Brian R. Speer; Ben Waggoner. “The Jurassic Period: 206 to 144 Million Years Ago”.
University of California, Berkeley, Museum of Paleontology (UCMP).  28 Nov 1995.
27 Feb 2006
<http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/mesozoic/jurassic/jurassintro.html>

New Zealand Ministry for the Environment. “The state of New Zealand’s biodiversity”.
1997. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/ser/ser1997/html/chapter9.7.1.html>

Ian M. West “The Fossil Forest – east of Lulworth Cove, Dorset: Geology of the Wessex
Coast of Southern England”. School of Ocean and Earth Sciences, Southampton
University, UK. 11 Jun 2005. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.soton.ac.uk/~imw/forest.htm>

Wikipedia. “Lycopodiophyta”. 21 Feb 2006. 27 Feb 2006
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lycopodiophyta>

Wikipedia. “Xylem”. 21 Feb 2006. 27 Feb 2006
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xylem>

Wikipedia. “Phloem”. 25 Feb 2006. 27 Feb 2006
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phloem>

Wikipedia. “Vascular Cambium”. 13 Feb 2006. 27 Feb 2006
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambium>

Wikipedia. “Phytolith”. 27 Feb 2005. 27 Feb 2006
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phytolith>

Harry T. Horner; Judy Jernstedt. Botanical Society of America: Online Image Collection:
Image: “Calcium oxalate crystals in plant organs” and “About the Image”. 1 Dec 2005.
28 Feb 2006
<http://www.botany.org/plantimages/ImageData.asp?IDN=abot92-12>

Rob Guralnick; Allen Collins; Ben Waggoner; Brian Speer; Colleen Whitney; David Smith.
“Introduction to Phylogeny”. University of California, Berkeley, Museum of Paleontology
(UCMP). Jul 2000. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/exhibit/introphylo.html>

Allen G. Collins; Rob Guralnick; Brian R. Speer; David Smith. “Journey Into Phylogenetic
Systematics: An Introduction to Cladistics”. University of California, Berkeley, Museum of
Paleontology (UCMP). 4 Oct 2005. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/clad/clad1.html>

Wilson A. Taylor; Botanical Society of America: Botany Conference 2004: Paleobotanical
section: session 5-3: Paper Presentation: “The case for land flora in the Cambrian –
ultrastructural evidence”.  ID 240. 2 Aug 2004. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.2004.botanyconference.org/engine/search/index.php?func=detail&aid=240>

Jacqueline Scherer; Garland Upchurch. Botanical Society of America: Botany Conference
2005: Paleobotanical section: session 26-4: Oral Paper Presentation: “Paleobotanical
evidence on latitudinal temperature gradients and mechanisms of climatic warming during
the Late Cretaceous”. Abstract ID 248. 16 Aug 2005. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.2005.botanyconference.org/engine/search/index.php?func=detail&aid=248>

W. A. Green; L. J. Hickey; Botanical Society of America: Botany Conference 2004:
Paleobotanical section: session 42-2: Paper Presentation: “If a Forest Falls, Do the Trees
Hear It? Eco-morphological Dynamics of the Cretaceous-Tertiary Boundary Event”.
Abstract ID 892. 4 Aug 2004. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.2004.botanyconference.org/engine/search/index.php?func=detail&aid=892>

Derek Kellogg; Sharon D. Klavins; Thomas N. Taylor; Edith L. Taylor; Botanical Society of
America: Botany Conference 2004: Paleobotanical section: session 42-5: Paper
Presentation: “Were early cycads insect pollinated?”. Abstract ID 669. 4 Aug 2004.
27 Feb 2006
<http://www.2004.botanyconference.org/engine/search/index.php?func=detail&aid=669>

Patricia E. Ryberg; Edith L. Taylor; Botanical Society of America: Botany Conference 2005:
Paleobotanical section: session 26-3: Oral Paper Presentation: “Fossil tree rings as
paleoclimatic indicators in the Permian and Triassic of Antarctica”. Abstract ID 98.
16 Aug 2005. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.2005.botanyconference.org/engine/search/index.php?func=detail&aid=98>

William C. Rember. “The Clarkia Flora of northern Idaho”. Tertiary Research Center.
University of Idaho, College of Mines & Earth Resources. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.mines.uidaho.edu/~tertiary/>

Wikipedia. “Plant”. 27 Feb 2006. 27 Feb 2006
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant>

Eric McLamb; Jack C. Hall; “The Quiet Evolution of Trees”. Ecology Communications,
Inc. 2004. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.ecology.com/feature-stories/quiet-evolution-of-trees/>

xfrog. “XfrogPlants Archaeopteris”. Turbo Squid, Inc. 2006. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.turbosquid.com/FullPreview/Index.cfm/ID/273672>

Brian R. Speer; “Introduction to the Lycophyta: Club mosses and Scale trees”. University
of California, Berkeley, Museum of Paleontology (UCMP).  22 Jan 1006. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/plants/lycophyta/lycophyta.html>

Wikipedia. “Lycopodiophyta”. 21 Feb 2006. 27 Feb 2006
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lycopodiophyta>

M. Alan Kazlev. “Palaeos: Triassic Terrestrial Ecosystems”. 4 sep 2003.
27 Feb 2006
<http://www.palaeos.com/Mesozoic/Triassic/trterrestrial.html>

Ann Cairns, Geological Society of America. “How trees changed the world”.
Earth Systems Processes Meeting. 26 Jun 2001. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2001-06/GSoA-Htct-2506101.php>

Gary Ritchison. “BIO 554/754: Ornithology: Lecture Notes 1: Introduction to Birds”.
Eastern Kentucky University. 27 Feb 2006
<http://people.eku.edu/ritchisong/554notes1.html>

R. A. Gastaldo; Auburn University, Department of Geology. “Earliest evidence for
helical crown configuration in a carboniferous tree of uncertain affinity”. Journal of
Paleontology: 64:1. U. S. Department of Energy, Energy Citations Database.
OSTI ID: 6693599. 1 Jan 1990. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.osti.gov/energycitations/product.biblio.jsp?osti_id=6693599>

Wikipedia. “Passerine”. 22 Feb 2006
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passerine>

Derek W. Kellogg; Edith L. Taylor; Botanical Society of America: Botany Conference
2002: Paleobotanical section 7: Presentation: “Evidence of wood-boring mites from the
Paleozoic and Mesozoic of Antarctica”. Abstract ID 21. Aug 2002. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.botany2002.org/section7/abstracts/18.shtml>

Paleobotancal Collections Database. University of Kansas. 21 Jan 2006. 27 Feb 2006
<http://paleobotany.bio.ku.edu/PaleoCollections.htm>

G. T. Nichols; School of Earth Sciences, University of Tasmania. “Abstracts, Prince
Charles Mountains Workshop, June 1991”. Originally published in 1982 as Australian
National Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE) Research notes. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www-aadc.aad.gov.au/ten_facts/stations_territories/pcm/workshop1991_text.asp>

Roff Smith. “Frozen Under”. National Geographic. 2001. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www7.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/data/2001/12/01/html/ft_20011201.1.html>

“History: The Hunters Return”.  Antarctica Online. 1998. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.antarcticaonline.com/antarctica/history/history.htm>

“Nakonratchasima: Attractions: City Attractions”. ThaihotelsLinks.com. 2002.
27 Feb 2006
<http://www.thaihotelslinks.com/Nakonratchasima/attrations01.php>

“The Living Edens: Patagonia: Natural History: The Petrified Forest”. PBS Online.
27 Feb 2006
<http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=ApVtaCGOpKz0h4ubKKxPkSdXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTE2Y
ml1NTRkBGNvbG8DdwRsA1dTMQRwb3MDMQRzZWMDc3IEdnRpZANGNjcxXzky/SIG
=122j3m6p2/EXP=1134795041/**http%3a//www.pbs.org/edens/patagonia/steppes.htm
>

Diane M. Erwin; Howard E. Schorn; Regina C. Smith; Laura M. Levy; Constance I. Millar;
Robert D. Westfall; John C. King; Virginia S. Moran; Botanical Society of America: Botany Conference 2005: Paleobotanical section: session: 33-63: Poster Presentation: “Nevada’s
buried treasure: The Lund Petrified Forest”. Abstract ID 271. 16 Aug 2005. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.2005.botanyconference.org/engine/search/index.php?func=detail&aid=271>

Rudolph serbet; Edith L. Taylor; Botanical Society of America: Botany Conference 2005: Paleobotanical section: session: 32-4: Oral Paper Presentation: “Paleobotanical collections: conservation and management for future research”. Abstract ID 71. 16 Aug 2005.
27 Feb 2006
<http://www.2005.botanyconference.org/engine/search/index.php?func=detail&aid=71>

Amy Wanner. Earlham College: Earlham Physical Geology 2005: “Petrified Wood”.
21 sep 2005. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.earlham.edu/~wanneam/geology/petrifiedwood.htm>

“Petrified Wood/Origins & Explanations”. NZ Legacy. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.nzlegacy.com/petrified_wood.htm>

The Internet Sacred Text Archive: “In the Beginning: A Navaho Creation Myth”. Told by
Frank Goldtooth. Recorded by Stanley A. Fishler. Page 9. 1953. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.sacred-texts.com/nam/nav/itb/itb03.htm>

“Welcome to the Nest of the Snow Owl: Petrified Wood”. 28 Feb 2006
<http://www.snowwowl.com/rlstoneprops.html#PETRIFIED%20WOOD1>

Airuma: Gemstone Lore – Page “P to R”: Petrified Wood”.  27 Feb 2006
<http://www.airuma.com/gemP.htm#Petrified%20Wood:>

DenElder. “OOTLB Book #3 – Crystal Magick”. 2006. 27 Feb 2006
<http://www.denelder.com/crystals/petrified.html>

“The Petrified Forest: Timeline”. The Petrified Forest, Calistoga, California.
28 Feb 2006
<http://www.petrifiedforest.org/histimegeo.html>

“Making a Sphere from Welsh Marble”. Mineral & Rock Online Sales, UK. 2002.
28 Feb 2006
<http://www.spheres.fsworld.co.uk/makesphere.htm>

 

Invitation to Members

Members,

Want to see your name in print?  Want to co-author, contribute, or author a whole Mineral of the Month article?  Well, this the forum for you!

And Members, if you have pictures, or a story you would like to share, please feel free to offer.  We'd like to post them for our mutual enjoyment.   Of course, you get full photo and author credit, and a chance to reach other collectors, hobbyists, and scientists.  We only ask that you check your facts, give credit where it is due, keep it wholesome for our Junior Members watching, and keep on topic regarding rockhounding.

You don't even have to be experienced in making a webpage.  We can work together to publish your story.  A handwritten short story with a Polaroid will do.  If you do fancier, a text document with a digital photo will suit, as well.   Sharing is the groundwork from which we can get your story out there.

Our club's webpages can reach any person surfing the net in the world, and even on the International Space Station, if they have a mind to view our website!

We are hoping for a possible tie-in to other informative programs upon which our fellow members might want to collaborate.  Contact any officer or board member with your suggestions.

Our next MOTM will be a surprise, new guest author.  For 2006, we are waiting for your suggestions.  What mineral do you want to know more about?

aniagate.gif (1920 bytes)

____________________________________

Most of the Mineral of the Month selections have come from most recent club fieldtrips and March Show Themes, and from inspriring world locales and people, thus far.  If you have a suggestion for a future Mineral of the Month, please e-mail me at: kencasey98@yahoo.com, or tell me at our next meeting.

 

 

Past Minerals of the Month
February 2006 Mineral of the Month: Petrified Wood, Part I
January 2006 Mineral of the Month: Strontianite by Karissa Hendershot
December Mineral of the Month: Clinozoisite
November Mineral of the Month: Bismuth
October Mineral of the Month: Wulfenite by Karissa Hendershot
September Mineral of the Month: Turquoise
August Mineral of the Month: Peridot
July Mineral of the Month: Ruby
June Mineral of the Month: Antarctic Fluorite
May Mineral of the Month: Dolomite, Part 2
April Mineral of the Month: Dolomite, Part 1
March Mineral of the Month: Calcite
February Mineral of the Month: Agate
January Mineral of the Month: Fluorite
December Mineral of the Month: Pyrite
November Mineral of the Month: Stilbite  
October Mineral of the Month: Celestite   
 

This page last updated:  February 19, 2011 10:14:46 AM

 

       

  

 

 


Next Meeting
 

April Program, Monday, April 8, 2013:

"Destruction of the Fossil Exposures in the Chesapeake Bay Area" presented by Dr. Lauck Ward

General Club Meeting:
April 8, 2013
(Monday)

We are meeting at
Greenbank Mill


Special Meetings:
 

*Show Committee Meeting, April or May, 2013

*New Home/Lapidary Committee, 2013

*Board Meeting,  April, 2013

Next Field Trips
 

Fieldtrips!

Past Fieldtrips
 

Next Show
DMS March Show
March 1-2, 2014 at DelTech Stanton

 


Our 2013 Show Theme was:
"All That Glitters is as Good as Gold!"

March Show 2013 Report

Updates!

 

 

 
Articles

 

Fossil Forum


"Dinny, the Dino"

"Belemnites are coming"

 

MOTM June also commemorates our 50th Show!

It's shiny, yellow, and is a symbol of 50 Years!Can you guess?

Past MOTM

Collecting Adventure Stories:

"Sunny Brook Crick Goethite" by Joe Dunleavy