What are Plant-like Fossils? Some fossils from the Late Ordovician through the Middle Devonian have characteristics that make determining their relationships to other taxa quite difficult. These organisms and pieces of organisms are generally small (less than 10 centimeters) and have various shapes, from tubes or thin films to something like an amoeba or a pancake. They have been identified as protists, algae, bryophytes (mosses), and ferns, but all have structures that indicate they lived in a dry environment. That is, they spent some part of their lifecycle on land. Scientists are still researching these fossils, using different techniques to determine if they are, in fact, plants.
First known fossil occurrence: Ordovician.
Last known fossil occurrence: Devonian.
Fossils through time:
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