Re: Grass in the Carboniferous.

Bill Payne (
Sat, 25 Apr 1998 23:04:00 -0600

25 Apr 1998 12:53:59 -0500, Glenn Morton wrote (quoting James Mahafee):
> >I found this post interesting. Those of us (like me) that work with
> >coal often tend to dismiss something like the floating mat hypothesis
> >and then we get Glenn suggesting that grass could form the Pittsburgh
> >coal. If I am not mistaken grass is an angiosperm...

Shows you how much I know; I didn't even realize grass is an angiosperm.

> I would have to go back to look at it, but the spores and
> >compression fossils of the Pittsburgh coal are quite well known. In fact if I
> >am not mistaken Aureal Cross wrote one of the first big and good studies
> >of coal using this seam. There would be herbaceous plants (several
> >lycopods among others - that sometimes produce a lot of coal). However,
> >I doubt if that is a good enough explanation. The Herrin Coal, which I
> >work with, had a lot of arborescent lycopods (these are the ones that
> >usually produce the trunks Bill is referring to) yet generally you do not
> >find a lot of trunks in the coal.

Why not, James?

> I thought you were into invertebrates?

Lycopods aren't vertebrates. :-)

> I sincerely wish that those more qualified in an area would jump in. If
> those like you, will not engage with YECs on issues like coal, then somebody
> less qualified, like me, will jump in. If nobody jumps in, the lurkers see
> unanswered YEC claims that fit with all they have read and assume that there
> is no answer. Do you think a floating mat hypothesis is the only way coal
> can be explained?

I just got a really funny feeling - what if I'm right? If I am, please
don't go through the same agony you did switching from YEC to OEC,
Glenn. We'll help you back across the bridge, my friend. :-)