Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Forest hidden by ashes in China

Researchers from University of Pennsylvania have uncovered a 298 million old forest at a site near Wuda, China.

"It's marvelously preserved," says University of Pennsylvania paleobotanist Hermann Pfefferkorn.
"We can stand there and find a branch with the leaves attached, and then we find the next branch and the next branch and the next branch. And then we find the stump from the same tree. That's really exciting."

Researchers have found the six different groups of trees in an area of 1000 square meters of ash layer. They have also found the specimens of “Noeggerathiales” i.e. spore bearing trees relating to ferns. 

"This is the first such forest reconstruction in Asia for any time interval, it's the first of a peat forest for this time interval and it's the first with Noeggerathiales as a dominant group," says Pfefferkorn. "It's a time capsule."

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