Ferns: Cladophlebis (CLAD-oh-FLEA-biss) and Baieropsis (BUY-er-OP-siss)

Painting of two fern species, showing the long, highly branched and feather-like fronds of Cladophlebis and the low-growing, simpler, fan-shaped fronds of Baieropsis.

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The most common Arundel ferns were Cladophlebis and Baieropsis. Baieropsis was a primitive fern related to the modern Schizaeaceae (skitz-AY-see-AY), a family that includes the fan and curly grass ferns. Paleobotanists think that ferns formed extensive "prairies" in open areas during the Cretaceous, occupying habitats where sedges or turf-forming grasses would be common today. Early grasses had begun to evolve by the end of the Cretaceous, but there was no grass at all during most of the time of the dinosaurs.

A fossil of a small portion of a Cladophlebis frond.

Cladophlebis frond. Click to zoom.

Fossil of a fan-shaped frond from the small fern, Baieropsis.

Baieropsis frond. Click to zoom.