Scientists regularly discover the remnants of ancient plants and animals that tell a great deal about how life on our planet formed and developed long before the evolution of our civilization. Recently, fossils of one of the oldest (currently known) forests have been found in China. Fossils are almost 400 million years old. And they can help scientists understand what they are interested in a long time ago.
When the jungle existed
According to Current Biology, the forest near Xinhan City in Anhui Province was discovered during excavations at one of the mines. This place has long been a treat for scientists.
The Jianchuan Mine has been in development for several years, and dredging and mining teams have always worked at the site, says Deming Wang from Beijing University. Excavations in such places often benefit our research. When excavators and miners have finished their work, we examine the walls of the mines and search the earth's thickness for the remains of ancient minerals.
Reconstruction of the appearance of a jungle 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 particularly interesting because at that time the first trees appeared on our planet and in the middle of the Devon period the first ferns were formed.
Which trees grew in the ancient forest?
Among them were the trees that formed the forest of that time, usually the fluffy sigillaria plants that reached a height of 20 to 25 meters. Or trees like Guangdedendron micrum. These trees were reminiscent of palm trees that were up to 2 meters high. However, a recently discovered forest did not look quite that way.
See also: Under water you discovered an ancient forest that 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 aforementioned palm-shaped Guangdedendron micrometer, scientists have discovered the remains of ancient water lilies, conchos and old fish.
High density and low tree height make the forest look like a sugarcane field. At the same time, the trees evidently grew in larger groups.
Researchers say the discovery will help to give some idea of how during the Devonian era, there was a rapid decline in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of the ancient Earth.
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