Scientists have discovered the world’s oldest known fossil forest in a sandstone quarry in New York State, providing new research on how trees can change the planet,media reported. The forest, found in the town of Cairo, which spans New York State, Pennsylvania and beyond, is reported to date back about 386 million years.
It is one of only three known mud basin fossil forests to date, 2 to 3 million years before the oldest known fossil forest in Gilboa, New York.
Chris Berry, of Cardiff University’s School of Earth and Marine Sciences, said: “These fossil forests are very rare. “To really understand how trees begin to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, we need to understand the earliest forests. “
This fossil forest reveals several ancient tree types. Among them, a tree called the “old eucalyptus”, a bit like a pine tree, but the branches are not needle-shaped, but dotted with fern leaves, which look almost hairy. It also has huge wooden roots, which are not found in previously discovered trees.
It is reported that there are very few wild animals in prehistoric forests. The first dinosaurs did not appear until 150 million years later, and there were no vertebrates or birds on land. The forest’s main inhabitants are creatures called bipedal worms, as well as other primitive insects that may or may not have begun to fly.
“It’s fun to think of a forest without big animals. Berry said. Previously, there were very few fossil remains of early trees for scientists to study.
The emergence of forests is reported to be one of the most transformative events in earth’s history, marking a permanent change in ecology, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and climate. Before the forests, carbon dioxide levels were much higher, and the Earth’s climate was hotter and there were no ice caps.