Blog Dendrite
Rocks and Minerals Information Sheet R005


These are often referred to as "fossil tree ferns", but dendritic crystal growth is what they actually are.

Display of Dendrites
The same type of growth is also seen in snowflakes. The word Dendrite comes from the Greek Dendron meaning tree. And it is also a term in neurology, referring to the tree like shape of neurons.

Dendrite B Dendrite C

In paleontology these crystal forms are sometimes mistaken for fossilised plants. The ones on my site are Manganese dendrites on a limestone bedding and are from Solnhofen in Germany.

Solnhofen Steinbruch Frauenberg by J.Steigler Solnhofen in Bavaria (Germany) Jurassic Limstone (dark grey area)around Solnhofen
They create wonderful patterns resembling mini-landscapes. The patterns form when water which is rich in Manganese and Iron flows into fissures in the layers of limestone and other rocks depositing dendritic crystals as the liquid flows through.
Dendrite Formation Dendrite A
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