Whereas strolling alongside a neighborhood creek in Birmingham, Alabama, Tristen Klavenga got here throughout a rock by the facet of the stream that seemed to be lined in scales.
At first, Klavenga thought it may need been some type of prehistoric palm or tree.
“After additional inspection and my buddy’s ideas, I wasn’t too uncertain that it may presumably be a fossilized imprint of fish scales,” Klavenga informed Newsweek. “It appears to be like fairly darn scaly.”
“I have been to this spot a whole lot of occasions however by no means observed the fossil till then,” Klavenga informed Newsweek. “With the rain we have had this season, I believe it uncovered the mud and bedrock to reveal the fossil.”
Klavenga shared images of the rock to the subreddit r/fossilid to listen to what different customers thought it might be.
A number of customers recognized the scaly stone as a Lepidodendron, an extinct sort of tree (or extra precisely tree-like plant) that thrived on Earth roughly 300 million years in the past.
At the moment, the Americas, Africa and Europe had been all joined collectively in a single “super-continent” generally known as Pangea. In consequence, Lepidodendron fossils could be discovered throughout these continents.
Based on the Nationwide Park Service, Lepidodendron—also referred to as “Scale Bushes”—grew to about 100 toes tall and seven toes huge. The crops grew straight up as lengthy unbranched trunks with a cluster of needle-like leaves at their rising tip. As they grew, the crops would shed the leaves from older components of their stem, leaving these distinctive scale-like scars behind from the place the leaves had as soon as been.
Many customers on Reddit have congratulated Klavenga on this uncommon discover.
“This has excellently detailed preservation, a superb discover to take pleasure in,” mentioned one consumer.
“So cool! Had no concept such a factor existed,” mentioned one other.
Klavenga, an skilled fossil hunter, mentioned that they too had been shocked by the form and preservation of this explicit scale tree.
“I’ve seen these imprinted fossils dozens of occasions, however the diploma to which this one was preserved, I’ve not,” they mentioned. “I have been amassing fossils as a toddler and my fascination and intrigue by no means ceases to persist. To assume that you could be be the primary set of eyes to see this life for the reason that Carboniferous interval is fairly superb.
It is superior and humbling to be reminded of the wonders but to be uncovered by acts of nature or by simply merely wanting down at your toes as soon as and some time.”