Japanese researchers found on the banks of the Kiso River, a beautifully preserved fossil forest which has been studied in detail for the first time.
The discovery took place in the Japanese city of Minokamo, it was first seen in 1994, when the Kiso River, northeast of Nagoya, suffered a historic droughtwhich exposed 400 fossilized tree stumps that were previously hidden in the waters of the river.
Since then, most strains have been submerged again, but researchers successfully examined 137 of them and the surrounding fossilized leaves, revealing that 130 were found to belong to the same fossil species: ‘Wataria parvipora’.
As reported in his study by Professor Toshiro Yamada, of Hokkaido University, the wood fossil species ‘Wataria parvipora’ belongs to the mallow family, which includes cotton and cocoa and dates from the time of the late Miocene (5 to 10.4 million years ago).
The Petrified Forest is mostly submerged under the waters of the Kiso River.
Moreover, the investigation revealed that the stumps of these trees were covered with a bed of a typical and specific fossilized leaf known scientifically as ‘Byttneriophyllum tiliifolium’, which also belongs to mallows. These leaves have been documented to be distributed throughout Eurasia during the Miocene and Pliocene eras.
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THE Miocene fossil forests they provide important information about the ancient flora and ecosystems that existed at the time. These are usually found in sedimentary rocks, where they have been petrified or mineralized in various states. Paleontologists and geologists use fossilized tree trunks, leaves and other plant remains to reconstruct ancient vegetation and environmental conditions.
From now on, Japanese scientists hope that the study of this petrified forest will enable them to reconstruct an entire plant Eurasia from the end of the Miocene.
The research was published in the journal Scientific reports.
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