The oldest “forest” in the world has been unexpectedly discovered on the coast of the United Kingdom

Middle Devonian rocks exposed on the Devon-Somerset coast have revealed an unexpected forest hidden in stone – the oldest evidence of a forest in the world.
Clarissa Wright Clarissa Wright Meteorite UK 6 minutes

Scientists from Cambridge and Cardiff Universities have discovered what it could be The oldest woodland evidence ever discovered in the world, fossilized in sandstone cliffs along the Devon and Somers coastR, in the southwest of the United Kingdom. Tree fossils have been found It dates back to 390 million years agoDuring the Devonian Period, a time when insect species diversified and flourished.

It belongs to the plant family Calamophytonfor first scond These trees are somewhat similar to palm trees.but it could have been very low, It is several meters high, and has branches made of small twigs instead of leaves. The centers are hollow instead of solid wood. So we can imagine that it would have been a forest unlike anything we see today, even though these are the early ancestors of our modern trees.

Its branches had brought down many plants, serving as a canopy of shelter for the primitive insects on the forest floor. Includes some well-known insects from the Devonian period Millipedes, which may have eaten dead plant debris On the forest floor.

Research has shown that in the mid-Late Devonian and later geological periods, insects such as millipedes appear to have followed a carnivorous diet, so These insects ate plants as well as other invertebrates.

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An unexpected discovery of southwest Devonian rocks

Discovery It exceeds about four million years Previous record One of the oldest fossil forests is found in The city of Cairo, New York State, USA, which was found in a sandstone quarry.

These fossils, recently confirmed in their published study, are the oldest known forest fossils on Earth. They are identified in a geological layer called the Glad Sandstone Formationexposed along the Devon-Somerset coast, near Minehead, South of the Bristol Channel.

Geologists made an unexpected discovery. the teacher Neil Davieswhose work focuses on Analysis of ancient sedimentary environmentsthe follower Department of Earth Sciences “It was a completely strange forest, and it didn't look like any forest you see today,” the University of Cambridge's said.

It's about The oldest fossil evidence of this type of tree in British records. Due to the location of the trees, it also breaks records as the oldest “fossil forest.”

Co-author Dr Christopher Perry, from Cardiff's School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, said: 'It was amazing to see them so close to home. But the most telling idea comes from seeing these trees, for the first time, in the locations where they grew. It is our first opportunity to directly observe the ecology of this type of primeval forestInterpreting the environment in which the trees grew From calamophyton And evaluate its impact on the sedimentary system.

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The “devil” is present in the Devonian details

he Devonian period It takes its name from the place where some of the most emblematic geological specimens of the period were found: In Devon. Also along the coasts of Devon and Somerset, geological exposures were presumed to contain no significant plant fossils. This discovery shows the presence of primitive trees that carved geographical features at that time, such as river banks and coasts.

How trees and forests evolved throughout the Devonian Period It changed the Earth's landscape primarily by stabilizing sediments, Which may erode or become barren, and in some places, resemble a desert.

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