Evidence of the world's oldest forest, dating back 385 million years ago, was discovered in an abandoned quarry in the US state of New York, according to a new study published in the journal Karen Bayolodji. Fossilized roots, traces of ancient landscapes, belonged to trees with trees and leaves, similar to what we see today, according to a study, CNN reports.
The find was discovered in Cairo, about 60 kilometers south of Albany. So far, scientists have considered the oldest fossilized forest in Gilboa, also in New York, but this one in Cairo is two or three million years older and varies considerably. An official at the State Museum of New York first noticed the large, root-shaped structure at the bottom of the quarry.
Christopher Barry, co-author of the study and paleobotanist at Cardiff University in the UK, told CNN he was a little skeptical when he first visited the site. He thought it could be a modern tree that grew in rock and was later removed. After a closer inspection of soil samples, researchers quickly confirmed that it was a print of something much older, the portal Index.hr reported.
A team of scientists carefully removed the soil layer, carefully mapping the extraordinary discovery. A catastrophic flood is believed to have killed most of the trees in the forest, but the root system has been preserved. Even fossil fossils were found near the largest trees.
This discovery provides an insight into the great transition period of the planet from a forestless world to a forest covered world, Barry believes.