State Fossil

Maine State Fossil

Adopted by the State Legislature of 1985

Maine has a state fossil - pertica quadrifaraia - which is the scientific name for a plant that grew in this area 390 million years ago. It grew to be about 6 feet tall, and was the largest plant at that time, its stem measuring an inch in diameter.

It had both fertile and sterile branches. The fertile branches had spore cases at the end of each branch; while the sterile branches had forked tips, which may have been an early step in the development of leaves.

Pertica quadrifaraia was discovered in Baxter State Park in 1968.

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