The world’s oldest known fossil forest has been discovered in upper New York state

Nesma seif writes
Evidence of the world’s oldest forest, dating back some 385 million years, has been discovered in an abandoned quarry in upstate New York, according to a new study published inCurrent Biology.

The fossilized roots– footprints of an ancient landscape– belonged to trees with wood and leaves, similar to what we see today, the study says.

This find was made in Cairo, about 40 miles south of Albany. Previously, scientists thought a fossilized forest in Gilboa, New York, was the earliest, but the one in Cairo is two or three million years older and dramatically different.

Scinetists stand on the edge of an Archaeopteris tree root system. They put the bucket where they think the tree’s trunk was located.

A person from the New York State Museum was the first to spot the large, root-like structures in the bottom of the quarry.

Christopher Berry, study co-author and a paleobotanist at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom, told CNN he was a bit skeptical the first time he visited the site. He thought a modern tree might have grown into the rock and been removed.

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