posted on Oct, 5 2012 @ 11:31 PM
I just read about this in our local newspaper and it is a really exciting discovery. I hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I did. The size of
the fossil forest and it's contents are really hard to wrap your head around. what an amazing planet we live on.
An ancient fossil forest has been found in a seam of Southern Illinois coal and it is a beauty. The forest is the biggest ever found and dates
around three hundred million years ago. It is located near Galatia, IL and stretches to southeast Indiana, approximately 100 miles. It is a
wonderfully intact specimen and gives a snapshot into what the area looked like before the dinosaurs.
More than 300 million years ago, Southern Illinois was located at the equator and and a river as large as the present day Mississippi ran through
the area. The channel of the river is visible in the coal. The plants and trees would appear alien to us now. The remains have been perfectly
preserved rooted in their original soil.
The trees were covered in scales that often cause coal miners to think that they have found fossilized dinosaurs. However, the main form of life
besides the plants were insects. Dragonflies the size of birds and millipedes up to six feet long lived in the forest.
Scientist hope that the discovery will help them to understand more about climate change and it's effect on the environment. They will be able to
get a better glimpse of how species adapt, reassemble, and how many go extinct after such events.
With further mining, the area likely holds many more secrets about the past that will be exposed.
Four Square Miles of Carboniferous Forest Discovered
An Underground Fossil
Forest Offers Clues on Climate Change
edit on 6-10-2012 by Kandinsky because: Fixed links
edit on 7/10/2012 by ArMaP because: Fixed image links