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Temporal range: Late Devonian to Early Permian
Pecopteris villosa.jpg
Partial frond of Pecopteris villosa from Mazon Creek (Carboniferous)
Scientific classification


Approximately 250 to 300, see text.

Pecopteris is a very common form genus of leaves. Most Pecopteris leaves and fronds are associated with the marattialean tree fern Psaronius. However, Pecopteris-type foliage also is borne on several filicalean ferns, and at least one seed fern.[1] [2] Pecopteris first appeared in the Devonian period, but flourished in the Carboniferous, especially the Pennsylvanian. Plants bearing these leaves became extinct in the Permian period, due to swamps disappearing and temperatures on Earth dropping.[3]


Pecopteris is derived from the Greek pekin, (to comb), and pteris, (a fern).[4] This is because the leaflets of Pecopteris fronds are arranged like the teeth on a comb.[5]


As of 1997, there have been 250-300 species assigned to Pecopteris.[6]

In Brazil, fossil of form genus Pecopteris was located in outcrop Morro Papalé in the city of Mariana Pimentel. They are in the geopark Paleorrota in Rio Bonito Formation and date from Sakmarian in Permian.[7]


  1. ^ Taylor, Thomas N; Taylor, Edith L; Krings, Michael (2009). Paleobotany: The biology and evolution of fossil plants. ISBN 978-0-12-373972-8.
  2. ^ Taylor, Thomas N. & Edith L. Taylor. The Biology and Evolution of Fossil Plants, page 598. (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1993). ISBN 0-13-651589-4.
  3. ^ "Pecopteris fossils". Earth Sciences Museum. 2013-12-19. Retrieved 2021-02-14.
  4. ^ Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, Simon & Schuster Publishing, 1972. ISBN 0-671-41819-X.
  5. ^ Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Volume II, 1976, pg. 1662.
  6. ^ "Research Training Program". Archived from the original on 2008-04-24. Retrieved 2008-05-03.
  7. ^ Afloramento Morro do Papaléo, Mariana Pimentel, RS

External links[edit]

Media related to Pecopteris at Wikimedia Commons