This is a stunning, incredibly well preserved Cladophlebis Fern Fossil, from Southland, New Zealand.
A large rectangular piece splits open to reveal a stunning black fern fossil on one side and its imprint on the other side. Both the top and bottom of the closed piece also has fossils all over it, a truly stunning piece!
Size & Weight:
130 x 120 x 55mm
Cladophlebis was first defined by Brongniart in 1849. He wrote (translated from the French)
This genus, which corresponds to the section of Pecopteris neuropteroides, (?In) the history of fossil Vegetables, still seems to me, after a more extended study, a natural and rather easy group to be characterized and able to be raised to the rank of genus; it actually forms the transition of Pecopteris to Neuropteris, it differs from the later by the pinnules which are not isolated from the rachis, but that are close-fitting to it though often free between them, and even partly contracted, and display a short rounded ear at their base; which is seen especially in Pecopteris nestleriana and P. defrancii. The veins are less fine, more separated, and are less obliquely branch from the median vein which, although fades towards end, persists in a distinct way up to the apex. These plants differ from other genera formed at the expense of Pecopteris, and particularly from the true Pecopteris, by their bent/hooked secondary veins and dichotomies. Cladophlebis pteroides has so much affinity with the true Neuropteris, by its absolute characters, that perhaps we should place it in this genus, though it does not have ‘respect’ of it. Several species of this genus belong to the Mesozoic, but most of them come from coal fields.
More interesting information here:
Carbonized fossil remains (also called carbonizations) may result when organisms are rapidly buried, especially in low-oxygen conditions. Carbonized remains are thin, approximately two-dimensional films of carbon preserved on a flat surface of rock. They are most often black in color, reflecting the fact that they composed mostly of carbon (as is coal, which is also black in color). Most fossils that exhibit “soft part” preservation are carbonizations. Examples include many plant fossils (also known as compressions), insect fossils, and the famous fossils of the Burgess Shale.
More good fossil info here: