Peculiar section of Aglaophyton indicating a wealth of hidden informationRhynie chert  -
        -  an emotional approach to start with
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While we are looking at the chert, the chert sometimes looks back at us as if inviting us to look deeper. Inspecting a cut and polished face of Rhynie chert compares to wandering about a secret garden with strange weeds everywhere and crawling creatures mostly in hiding.

400 million years ago there was not much diversity so that it is not difficult to learn the names of all the Higher Plants from Rhynie by heart. It is more difficult to tell which section of a plant part seen in the chert belongs to which plant.
This alien face with intent look offers a most uncommon aspect of the most common plant in the chert, formerly known as Rhynia major but arguably renamed Aglaophyton major. The odd-shaped outline and double central strand indicate that it is an inclined cut near a forking point of the shoot. hyphae and Nothia

The seam of loosely clustered dark dots consists of cells invaded by the symbiotic fungus Glomites rhyniensis.

The chert preserves not only things but also information concerning its formation from mud and silica-rich water. The shrinkage cracks running across the face in this picture  must be due to the well-known contraction during the formation of hard chert from silica gel. They show that silicification proceeded at differential rates inside and outside the plant tissue.

The picture on the right (width 10mm) is to show that lots of more fascinating structures in the Rhynie chert are awaiting description and possibly explanation in the series of contributions called 
Rhynie Chert News. 


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