Paleontology

Fossil Finding Illustrates Northern Canadian Region had Warm and Wet Past



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An amazing find has been made in a northern region of Canada. While on a mission to dig for diamonds, the jewel seekers stumbled upon a piece of redwood that dates back tens of millions of years and is said to be remarkably preserved.

The 50-million-year-old piece of redwood was actually found a few years ago, according to Live Science. The fossilized wood was found sealed in a volcanic rock.

Live Science reported: "The wood was found a few years ago in a kimberlite pipe, named the Panda pipe, over 1,000 feet (315 meters) below Earth's surface at the Ekati diamond mine, just south of the Arctic Circle in Canada's Northwest Territories," researchers said.

Since the notable find, researchers have been studying the piece and have concluded the region may have had a "swampier" past. Researchers said a Metasequoia forest once covered the site of the kimberlite pipe. During the early portion of the Eocene period, it is believed an eruption over 50 million years ago opened up a hole and "sucked in" the primordial redwood trees.

Alex Wolfe, of the University of Alberta and lead author of the redwood fossil study, told Live Science in an email that open space allowed the wood to fall deep into the hole; after it cooled, the ancient redwood was "locked in the volcanic rock".

Many fossils are forever gone through changes that have occurred in the Earth over time. It is believed the early portion of the Eocene period had the highest mean annual temperatures of the Cenozoic Era with heavy precipitation.

"All sedimentary rocks and their fossils have been wiped clear by glaciation in this part of the world," Wolfe said. "Thus we have, deeply buried in these rocks, vestiges of ancient ecosystems and a sole source of fossils pertaining to the character of Eocene forests in subarctic Canada."

For tens of millions of years the wood remained, well preserved, until the recent uncovering. It is believed to possibly be the oldest of its kind found in this remote Canadian location. Its discovery could potentially unlock many of the secrets the Earth holds and unveil much more information as to climates that may have existed so many millions of years ago during prehistoric times.

According to Live Science, this finding has already revealed that Canadian subarctic temperatures were substantially warmer with higher levels of moisture than exist today.

Researchers have published their full findings in the scientific journal, PLoS One.

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ARTICLE SOURCES AND CITATIONS
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.livescience.com/23374-fossil-forest-redwood-diamond-mine.html
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://paleobiol.geoscienceworld.org/content/29/2/271.abstract
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/tertiary/eocene.php
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0045537