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General Characteristics, Natural History, Life Cycle, Gametophyte, Sporophyte, Polyploidy, Evolution, Modern Ferns

Ferns are plants in the Filicinophyta phylum, also called the Pteridophyta phylum. They are intermediate in complexity between the more primitive (i.e., evolutionarily ancient) bryophytes (mosses, liverworts, and hornworts) and the more advanced (or recent) seed plants. Like bryophytes, ferns reproduce sexually by making spores rather than seeds. Most ferns produce spores on the underside or margin of their leaves. Like seed plants, ferns have stems with a vascular system for efficient transport of water and food. Ferns also have leaves, known technically as megaphylls, with a complex system of branched veins. There are about 11,000 species of ferns, most of them indigenous to tropical and subtropical regions.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Evolution to Ferrocyanide