Cordaitales

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Cordaitales
Cordaites lungatus JdP.jpg
Cordaites lungatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: †Cordaitales
Families

Cordaitaceae

Cordaitales are an extinct order of woody plants that may have been early conifers, or which may have given rise to the conifers (Pinophyta), ginkgos (Ginkgophyta) and cycads (Cycadophyta). They had cone-like reproductive structures reminiscent of those of modern conifers. The Cordaitales appeared during the Carboniferous Period forming large trees that seem to have been particularly abundant on drier ground, in tropical environments. Also, some tall trees but also shrubby and mangrove-like species of Cordaitales seem to have grown in the Carboniferous coal swamps. Cordaitales were also abundant during the Permian, but became less important during the Triassic and died out during the time of the end-Triassic mass extinction. Many Cordiatales had elongated strap-like leaves, resembling some modern-day conifers of the Araucariaceae and Podocarpaceae. Common genera from the Carboniferous include Mesoxylon and Cordaixylon.