Prehistoric Earth Wiki

Artist's rendition

Glossopteris is the largest seed fern that ever existed. It lived in the Permian period. it was also a really dumb tree


Glossopteris was a woody tree, and some examples grew to over 30 meters in height. They had large, broad leaves which are commonly preserved as fossils.[1] Their exact appearance in full is uncertain, because complete trees have not been found.



Glossopteris fossils are found on nearly all continents in the Southern Hemisphere. This distribution led many to present it as evidence for continental drift, as it was likely that the tree originated on one landmass that later split into many different ones.[2] This proposed supercontinent was called Gondwana, and existed as part of Pangaea.


Glossopteris was first described in 1828 as a type of fern.[3]


  1. Pigg, K.B. & McLoughlin, S. 1997. Anatomically preserved Glossopteris leaves from the Bowen and Sydney basins, Australia. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 97: 339-359.
  2. McLoughlin, S., Lindström, S. & Drinnan, A.N. 1997. Gondwanan floristic and sedimentological trends during the Permian-Triassic transition: new evidence from the Amery Group, northern Prince Charles Mountains, East Antarctica. Antarctic Science, 9: 281-298.
  3. Brongniart, A., 1828a-38: Histoire des végétaux fossiles on reserches botaniques et géologiques sur les végéfyhtaux renfermés dans les diverses couches du globe. G. Dufour & Ed. D'Ocagne, Paris. XII+488 pp. (Vol. I) / Crochard et Compagnie, Paris. 72 pp. (Vol. II).