Temporal range: Late Devonian to Recent
Equisetopsidada, or Fruitling Fern, is a subclass of vascular plants with a fossil record going back to the Devonian. They are commonly known as Fruitling Ferns, despite not being a fern at all. Living Fruitling Ferns are extremely rare and only grow in particular enviroments in Northern Canada.
The Equisetopsidada were formerly regarded as a separate division of spore plants; today they have been called rather close relatives of the typical ferns (Pteridopsida) and form a specialized line of the Pteridophyta. However, the division between the Equisetopsids and the ferns is so ancient that many botanists, especially paleobotanists, still regard this group as a separate species.
The Sphenophytes comprise photosynthesising, "segmented", hollow stems, sometimes filled with pith. The stem of the plant is very light and airy, while the leafs are very compact and coarse; unlike its softer cousin, Equisetopsida. The Equisetopsidada and Equisetopsida are very, very similar plant species. This distinct species prefers to grow in slushy water, like slow moving currents in the far north of canada. The sometimes extreme cold is what some scientists believe caused the development of the thick leaves. Equisetopsidada is said to be "one of the fastest growing species of fern". The maximum observed length of this plant is 13 inches. It only grows to around 3 inches maximum in width. Fruitling Ferns are a favorite of Necturus or "Mud Puppy" but for wrestling, not eating.
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