Reconstruction of Cordaites as on exhibit at Sam Noble Museum
Cordaites sp. (reconstruction)

Scientific Name: Cordaitales

Status: Extinct (no species alive today)

Oldest fossil anywhere: Carboniferous of North America, Europe and Asia (about 325 million years old)

Oklahoma fossil record: Macrofossils have been found in Oklahoma rocks deposited during the Pennsylvanian and Permian Periods.

Cordaites are extinct seed plants that had long, strap-like leaves and simple cones and that lived from the Carboniferous to the Permian. Scientists consider Cordaites to be closely related to conifers. Cordaitess are reconstructed as growing as trees (to 150 feet [45 meters] tall) and woody shrubs, and some have proposed that they even evolved a "mangrove" habit with prop roots living in standing water.