Paleobotany is the study of fossilized plant material, and includes the study of fossilized spores and pollen. Many plants during the Pennsylvanian Period were fossilized during coal formation in permineralizecl peat deposits, forming coal balls. Coal balls contain numerous fossils of plant fragments, including pollen and spores that are preserved in meticulous detail. The tools and processes required for the study of microfossils in coal balls are inexpensive and can be found in most high school laboratories. Two methods of coal ball study will be described in this paper. The first method involves the study of microfossils through the preparation of microscope slides and the second method involves the making of coal peels. Both methods necessitate the procurement of coal balls for study. Coal balls may be obtained from coal mines, from discarded specimens at universities, 01· purchased from Ward's Natural Science Establishment.
Iowa Science Teachers Journal
© Copyright 1983 by the Iowa Academy of Science
Iowa Science Teachers Journal: Vol. 20
, Article 9.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/istj/vol20/iss1/9