Mystery of fossilized trees is solved

An international research team has found evidence of the Earth's earliest forest trees, dating back 385 million years.

Upright stumps of fossilised trees were uncovered after a flash flood in Gilboa, upstate New York, more than a century ago. However, until now, no-one has known what the entire trees looked like.

Two years ago, two fossils were found near Gilboa of trees which had fallen sideways, with their trunk, branches, twigs and crown still intact.

American researchers called in Dr Christopher Berry of Cardiff University, an expert who has studied tree fossils around the world for the last 17 years. Dr Berry was able to identify the trunks as being of the genus Wattieza, a tree fern-like plant.

Small fragments of Wattieza have been found in the past, but there was no direct evidence of how large the plant could grow. The new specimens show that they reached at least 8 metres in height and formed the first known forests on earth.

Dr Berry, of Cardiff's School of Earth, Ocean and Planetary Sciences, said: "This is a spectacular find, which has allowed us to recreate these early forest ecosystems. Branches from the trees would have fallen to the floor and decayed, providing a new food chain for the bugs living below.

"This was also a significant moment in the history of the planet. The rise of the forests removed a lot of Carbon Dioxide from the atmosphere. This caused temperatures to drop and the planet became very similar to its present-day condition."

Dr Berry worked with colleagues from Binghampton University, New York and from New York State Museum, which discovered the two trunk fossils. Their findings are published in the April 19 edition of the scientific journal Nature.


Contact: Stephen Rouse
Cardiff University

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Mystery on the Hudson
2. Mystery unwrapped: Texas A&M team uncovers mummy secrets
3. Ancient creature fossilized by the bacteria that ate it
4. Plastic that grows on trees
5. Human ancestors learned to walk upright in the trees, say experts
6. Lessons from the orangutans: Upright walking may have begun in the trees
7. Seeing the trees for the forest: WHRC scientists creating national biomass and carbon dataset
8. How trees manage water in arid environments
9. Squirrels winning at outwitting trees survival strategy
10. Software, evolution and micro-inversions -- improving the building of phylogenetic trees
11. Frankincense trees overexploited for Christmas scent

Post Your Comments:

(Date:3/30/2017)... 2017 Trends, opportunities and forecast in this ... technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, facial recognition, hand geometry, ... end use industry (government and law enforcement, commercial and ... and others), and by region ( North America ... Asia Pacific , and the Rest of the ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... The report "Video Surveillance Market ... Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, VMS), and Service (VSaaS, ... to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market was valued ... to reach USD 75.64 Billion by 2022, at a ... year considered for the study is 2016 and the ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... -- The Controller General of Immigration from Maldives Mr. ... have received the prestigious international IAIR Award for the most innovative high ... ... Maldives Immigration Controller ... (small picture on the right) have received the IAIR award for the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... -- VMS BioMarketing, a leading provider of patient support solutions, has ... (CNE) network, which will launch this week. The VMS CNEs ... professionals to enhance the patient care experience by delivering peer-to-peer ... care professionals to help women who have been diagnosed and ... ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... granted orphan drug designation to SBT-100, its novel anti-STAT3 (Signal Transducer and Activator ... osteosarcoma. SBT-100 is able to cross the cell membrane and bind intracellular STAT3 ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... Dr. Bob Harman, founder and CEO of ... Club. The event entitled “Stem Cells and Their Regenerative Powers,” was ... Dr. Harman, DVM, MPVM was joined by two human doctors: Peter B. Hanson, M.D., ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... The Pittcon Program Committee is ... honoring scientists who have made outstanding contributions to analytical chemistry and applied spectroscopy. ... world’s leading conference and exposition for laboratory science, which will be held February ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: