America: discovered fossil tropical forests 300 million years ago
The American Geological Society on April 23 said that US and British scientists have discovered a fossil tropical forest 300 million years ago at a coal mine in Illinois, USA.
This forest consists of a series of extinct plants higher than 40 m, covering a fern dome, growing between moss and shrubs. Scientists have confirmed that there is no place in the world where one can walk between such a large fossil tropical forest.
This finding has changed the perception of geology about the ecosystem of the first tropical forests on earth. This fossil forest was preserved after an intense earthquake that occurred 300 million years ago, making the entire area sink below sea level and from there the forest was permanently buried.
Dr Howard Falcon-Lang, a professor at the University of Bristol in England, said: "It was impressive. We went on an armored vehicle to a depth of hundreds of meters below the coal mine. The jelly was on top of the coal seam, so after peeling away the coal layer, the forest appeared in the underground ceiling, and we advanced several miles along the coal shaft, with fossilized trees on top. The light of the furnace lamp, we have drawn the map of this forest ".
The fossil forest consists of a series of extinct trees higher than 40 m - (Photo: Telegraph)
The fossil forest is over 10,000 hectares, providing unique evidence to help people imagine tropical forests existed 300 million years ago. Most coal mines in the world are formed during this period.
Previously, scientists knew little about the ecosystem and population structure of ancient plants. Fossils show that the first tropical forests on earth are diverse and the plants vary by geographical region. Scientists are recreating this fossil tropical forest on a large scale.
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- The discovery of monkey fossils in North America 21 million years ago
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