Steeles Series in the Natural Sciences

Steeles Series in the Natural Sciences

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1877 edition. Excerpt: ...in the layer of clay, the very soil in which they grew, underneath the coal These fossils reveal to us most perfectly the vegetation of the Period. It is the fulfillment of that which scantily appeared in the Devonian Age. It was almost entirely a flowerless growth.. The leading forms were tree-ferns, rushes, and club-mosses, which grew to a size unknown in our climate. If we should collect the cryptogams (flowerless plants) of North America to form a forest, it would hardly overtop a man's head, and the ferni would have an undergrowth of toad-stools, mosses, and lichens (Dana). 1. The Ferns.--Ferns which to-day creep at our feet, then towered into stately trees, with trunks a foot and a half in diameter. They are abundant fossils, and doubtless contributed most to the formation of coal. 2. The Calamitcs were jointed, rush-like plants. Unlike the "horse-tail" or "scouring rushes" of the present, which are rarely two feet long, their Carboniferous prototypes shot up like a gigantic asparagus, with a woody fiber, to a height of a score or more of feet. The impressions of their huge prostrate stems are frequent. ' The most elaborate Imitations of living foliage upon the painted celling of Italian palaces, bear no comparison with the beauteous profusion with which the galleries ot these instructive coal mines are overhung. The roof is covered as with a canopy of gorgeous tapestry, enriched with festoons of most graceful foliage, llun!.' in wild irregular profusion over every portion of its surface. The effect is heightened by the contrast of the coal-Mack color of these vegetable! with the light ground-work of the rock to which they are attached. The spectator feels himself transported, as if by enchantment, into the forests of...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 66 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 4mm | 136g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • Miami Fl, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236654528
  • 9781236654526