27 April 2007

Das würde ich gerne sehen.

Geologists have found the remains of a huge underground rainforest hidden in a coal mine in Illinois. The fossil forest, buried by an earthquake 300 million years ago, contains giant versions of several plant types alive today.

Experts say the forest was growing on top of peaty soil when an ancient tremor plunged it about 5 metres down, allowing it to be buried and fossilized beneath further layers of more recent rock. It dates from a time when North America and Europe were joined together, at the Equator — similar forests went on to be transformed into the rich coal seams of the two continents.

The forest was discovered in 2005 by John Nelson of the Illinois State Geological Survey, who was making routine measurements in a mine in Vermilion County. [...]
The ancient forest bears little resemblance to modern equivalents. "The diversity of the first rainforests was bizarre," says Falcon-Lang. He and his team found the remains of tree-sized clubmosses, horsetails and ferns — plants that today grow 2 or 3 metres tall, but in the ancient forest reached heights of up to 40 metres.
[Quelle: News@Nature; Bildquelle: Scienceticker.info]

Schade, dass man keine Zeitreisen machen kann. Ich würde gerne mal durch einen Wald laufen, wie er vor 300 Mio. Jahren existiert hat. Obwohl, wenn ich mich recht erinnere, gab es zu der Zeit ziemlich große Insekten (kann auf die Schnelle keine Quelle finden) - das wäre möglicherweise nicht so gesund.


P.S.: Habe noch was dazu bei Science gefunden. Mit den Insekten hatte ich wohl recht...
In these so-called coal forests, 2-meter-wide and 40-meter-tall trees with no crowns or branches-- think "telephone poles with leaves," says DiMichele--harbored dragonflies with 60-centimeter wingspans and were visited by giant crablike creatures called eurypterids. DiMichele and colleagues report in the May issue of Geology that plant and animal fossils were found remarkably intact; some tree stumps are still upright and rooted in the underlying coal bed.
[Quelle: ScienceNOW]

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