In Pics: 290-million-year-old ‘rare’ forest unearthed in Brazil

Updated: Jun 21, 2022, 02:43 PM(IST)

A fossilised upright forest, which seems to have been 290 million years old, has been found in southern Brazil by a team of researchers. It is being considered as a “window to the past” and can help in the study of plant’s evolution.

The trees in this forest have been preserved in vertical position, which is rare. The experts have discovered a set of 164 trunks of lycophytes (without fruits, flowers or seeds) of an extinct variety of tree.

Most important discovery  

It is “the most important discovery in the southern hemisphere”, due to the quantity and quality of the preservation, said Thammy Mottin, geologist and PhD, Federal University of Paraná. He led the research alongwith collaborators from the University of California and the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul.  


‘Primitive forms of plants’  

“With an estimated age of 290 million years, these plants represent very primitive forms in the history of the Earth,” added Mottin. He has been studying the post-glacial period, where the climate was warmer and more conducive for the emergence of dense forests like the one found.  


Shows how first plants colonised  

The forest has been unearthed in the municipality of Ortigueira, in the state of Paraná. It gives “access to the way the first plants colonised the environment, how they were distributed in space (…) and the interaction with the environment”, among other points, Mottin said.  


Peculiarly preserved  

The preservation of the forest was possible as the trees “were quickly buried when they were alive, and were progressively covered by sediments, until they died by asphyxiation,” added Mottin.   


‘Major flood of a river’  

The event that “practically froze that forest the way it was” was a major flood of a river on whose banks the trees were located, the researchers determined.


Read in App