Seeing An Ancient NY Forest Through Tree Fossils

Seeing An Ancient NY Forest Through Tree Fossils

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Fossil hunters investigating the floor of a 385 million-year-old forest in an excavated upstate New York quarry found evidence of a complex ecosystem teeming with plant life. The journal Nature reported that excavation of the quarry in 2010 allowed researchers to study an intact portion of the forest floor complete with root systems.

William Stein, associate professor of biology at Binghamton University and an author of the article, called the discovery “the botanical equivalent of dinosaur footprints.” The excavated site gives new insights into the mid-Devonian era, when the emergence of trees signaled major changes around the globe including a drop in carbon dioxide levels and an associated cooling off.

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