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Posted 10/10/2017

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By Autumn Rodden (East Branch Lake)

Pittsburgh District’s East Branch Lake team extracted a fossil from the lakes shoreline, Oct. 5.

Using a strap, two chains and a backhoe, the team extracted the fossil, which the on-site geologists believe to be a Lepidodendron, which is an extinct genus of primitive, vascular, arborescent type of plant that reached more than 100 feet in height and larger than 3 feet in diameter. 

First sited at low pool in fall of 2016 while the lake was at its second lowest level recorded, the team lost the opportunity to remove it when the pool rose and swallowed it.

The fossil, also known as a Scale Tree, thrived during the Carboniferous period and was part of the coal forest flora.  Lepidodendrons are closely related to our modern day quillworts.

After extraction, the fossil was cleaned and placed in the entranceway to the Project Office.


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Carboniferous period East Branch Lake Clarion extraction fossil Geologist Lepidodendron low pool Pittsburgh District primitive quillwort Scale Tree shoreline USACE