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Temporal range: Devonian to Lower Carboniferous
Archaeopteris hibernica
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Class: Progymnospermopsida
Order: Archaeopteridales
Family: Archaeopteridaceae
Genus: Archaeopteris
Dawson (1871)

Archaeopteris is an extinct genus of progymnosperm tree with fern-like leaves. This tree is found in strata from the Upper Devonian to Lower Carboniferous.

For a while, 383 to 323 million years ago, it was the dominant tree all over the Earth.[1] They had a world-wide distribution. On all the land areas that were habitable, they all had this tree.

Until the 2007 discovery of Wattieza, many botanists thought Archaeopteris was the earliest known tree. It has buds, reinforced branch joints, and branched trunks similar to today's wood. It is more like modern seed-bearing trees than other spore-bearing plants. It is a bit like woody trees and herbaceous ferns. These extinct plants are sometimes called the progymnosperms. They are plants with gymnosperm-like wood but which produce spores rather than seeds.

Because it bears spores. it is an ancestor of the gymnosperms.

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