Probably many of the ferns were epiphytic. Pecopteris, Cyclopteris, Neuropteris, Alethopteris, Sphenopteris are common genera; Megaphyton and Caulopteris were tree ferns.
The cases in which such evidence is decisive are but few, namely, Lyginodendron oldhamium, Neuropteris heterophylla, Pecopteris Pluckeneti, Aneimites fertilis and Aneimites tenuifolius.
Have had a habit not unlike (X 5.) that of tree-ferns, with compound leaves of enormous dimensions, belonging to various frondgenera - especially, as has now been proved, to Alethopteris and Neuropteris; these are among the most abundant of the Carboniferous fronds commonly attributed to Ferns, and extend back to the Devonian.
In habit some species of Alethopteris resembled the recent Angiopteris, while the Neuropteris foliage may be compared with that of an Osmunda.
- Neuropteris heterophylla.
In one member of the Medulloseae, there is direct evidence of reproduction by seeds, for in Neuropteris heterophylla Kidston has demonstrated that large seeds, of the size of a hazel-nut, were borne on the frond (fig.
Fern-like plants such as Sphenopterideae, Archaeopteris and Aneimites, with occasional arborescent Pecopterideae, are frequent; many of the genera, including Alethopteris, Neuropteris and Megalopteris, probably belonged, not to true Ferns, but to Pteridosperms; although our knowledge of internal structure is still comparatively scanty, there is evidence to prove that such plants were already present, as for example, the genus Calamopitys.
Numerous fronds such as Alethopteris Neuropteris, Mariopteris, &c., belonged to Pteridosperms, of which specimens showing structure are frequent in certain beds.
The Bunter sandstones of the Vosges have afforded several species of Lower Triassic plants; these include the Equisetaceous genus Schizoneura - a member also of the Glossopteris flora - bipinnate fern fronds referred to the genus Anomopteris, another fern, described originally as Neuropteris grandifolia, which agrees very closely with a southern hemisphere type (Neuropteridium validum, fig.