400 million-year-old forest fossils found in China

Scientists regularly discover the remains of the ancientsplants and animals that can tell us a lot about how life was formed and developed on our planet long before the development of our civilization. And recently, fossils of one of the oldest (currently known) forests have been found in China. Fossils are nearly 400 million years old. And they can help scientists understand what interests them long ago.

When the ancient forest existed

According to the publication Current Biology, the forest was discovered near the city of Xinhan in Anhui province during excavations in the territory of one of the mines. This place has long been a tidbit for scientists.

Jianchuan Mine has been under development forfor several years, and excavators and miners' teams have always worked on this site, ”says Deming Wang from Peking University. Excavations in such places often benefit our research. When excavators and miners finish their work, we examine the walls of the mines and look for the remains of ancient minerals in the thickness of the earth.

Reconstruction of the appearance of an ancient forest discovered in China

Scientists believe that the discovered forest existed.during the Devonian period, which lasted from 419.2 to 358.9 million years ago. This period is interesting primarily because it was then that the first trees appeared on our planet, and by the middle of the Devonian period, the first ferns were formed.

What trees grew in the ancient forest

Among them are the trees that formed the forest.period, as a rule, there were pluvoid plants of sigillaria, reaching a height of 20-25 meters. Or trees like Guangdedendron micrum. These trees were somewhat reminiscent of palm trees up to 2 meters high. However, a recently discovered forest did not look quite like that.

See also: Under the water discovered an ancient forest, which is 10,000 years old.

According to scientists, the forest grew on the banks of the river,which often “flooded” the trees. Therefore, the terrain here was rather marshy. In addition to the already mentioned palm-shaped Guangdedendron micrum, scientists have discovered the remains of ancient sea lilies, conchostrachs and ancient fish.

High density and low tree height make the forest look like a sugarcane field. At the same time, the trees here grew, apparently, in fairly large groups.

Researchers say the discovery will help give an idea of ​​how during the Devonian period there was a rapid drop in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of the ancient Earth.

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