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'Chinese Pompeii' yields 300 million-year-old secrets

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posted on Feb, 21 2012 @ 11:48 AM
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Thought this was very interesting and wanted to share it. I love looking at these pictures of an ancient forest that existed hundreds of millions of years before man ever walked the earth.

'Chinese Pompeii' yields 300 million-year-old secrets (BBC.com)
Ash-covered forest is 'Permian Pompeii' (Nature.com)


Scientists reconstruct ancient ecosystem from plants preserved in volcanic eruption.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.




An artist's impression of a 300-million-year-old peat forest in northern China, based on plant fossils preserved in a huge volcanic ash-fall.


The researchers reconstructed the ancient ecosystem by analysing the positions of individual plants across three sites that together cover more than 1,000 square metres. Species from six plant groups lived there, Pfefferkorn and his team report online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences1. Besides sporting a broad, low canopy of tree ferns, the peat forest contained trees that looked like feather dusters, with trunks twice the height of telephone poles; vines and three species of an enigmatic group called Noeggerathiales — small spore-bearing trees that scientists think are close relatives of the earliest ferns.


Here is the UPenn press release on the discovery;
Penn Researcher Helps Discover and Characterize a 300-Million-Year Old Forest, Preserved Like Pompeii

The ancient forest was discovered during a coal mining operation, but luckily Chinese authorities permitted researchers the opportunity to conduct their research even if it held up Chinese commercial interests.
edit on 21-2-2012 by Blackmarketeer because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 21 2012 @ 12:19 PM
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20 plus years ago i was helping a frient cut peat in the north of scotland a normal thing for crofters when about 3 foot down i pulled out a leaf that was about 30 inches across and felt like a plastic carrier bag it looked like a canadian maple leaf for all the world . afew hours later when i went to get it it just crumbled away in my hands .would have loved to have kept that



 
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