Scientists have discovered the oldest bloody fossilised forest on Earth

Credit: Charles Ver Straeten

Scientists have discovered the oldest bloody fossilised forest on Earth

We all know forests are pretty f**ken important, and in some cases, pretty bloody old, but a recent discovery is showing scientists just how ancient they are. Over in New York, a bunch of palaeontologists have uncovered fossilised trees that date back 386 million years, making them the oldest ever discovered. Have a bloody squiz…

Rightio, ya big bloody bewdiful legends, if you know your s**t, you’ll know that scientists already knew that New York was home to the world’s oldest fossilised forest.

However their latest discovery has unearthed one that’s two or three-million years older than the previous record-holder.

Credit: The Guardian

Basically, a team of scientists from Oxford University in Pommyland, Binghamton University in the States and the New York State Museum have been working on mapping a fossilised forest in the Catskill Mountains and they’ve uncovered 3,000 square metres of forest older than anything they’d previously known about.

Credit: Charles Ver Straeten

Dr Chris Berry from Cardiff University has co-authored a study for the journal Current Biology and he reckons, “It’s a very ancient forest from the beginnings of the time where the planet was turning green and forests were becoming a normal part of the Earth’s system.”

He says it’s, “the oldest place where you can wander around and map out where fossil trees were standing back in the middle part of the Devonian era,” and apparently they’ve even found the fossils of woody roots that changed the way trees gather water.

Credit: William Stein/Christopher Berry/PA

The whole thing is throwing light onto the evolution of trees, and that’s probably a pretty important factor in the evolution of life as a whole. After all, once critters came out of the sea, the forests were probably the next really important ecosystem for tonnes of creatures.

So far, they’ve identified two species of tree in the forest with a third still awaiting identification. The two known ones are Cladoxylopsids and Archaeopteris.

Credit: William Stein/Christopher Berry

Final thought: The thing that always stands out to us when we look at this sort of stuff is the vast spans of time involved. After all, how do you quantify nearly 400 million years? Not to get all deep, but our lives are barely even specks compared to that.

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