Preserved 300-million-year-old forest found under coal mine

Published on February 27th, 2012 | by Sevaan Franks

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forest

A nearly 300-million-year-old forest has been found underneath a coal mine near Wuda, China. [Thx Mike G!]

The study site, located near Wuda, China, is unique as it gives a snapshot of a moment in time. Because volcanic ash covered a large expanse of forest in the course of only a few days, the plants were preserved as they fell, in many cases in the exact locations where they grew.

“It’s marvelously preserved,” Pfefferkorn said. “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.”

[Full story]

Story: Katherine Unger Baillie, University of Pennsylvania | Photo: University of Pennsylvania

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