Geologists Discover World’s Largest Fossil Forest in the Ceiling of an Illinois Coal Mine

Posted by Chris Parker
May 04 2007


Photo: Recreation of a Fossil Forestテつfrom Field Museum, Chicagoテつ

テつ” 04/23/2007– A Carboniferous forest extending some 40 square miles has been found in the ceiling of a coal mine, reported Science Daily, Live Science and News@Nature.

About 50 species have been identified, including ferns and horsetails over 10 times taller than those alive today. News@Nature remarked that the forest contained some mangrove-like plants.

The article quoted a surprised researcher who said, テ「竄ャナ的t was always assumed that mangrove plants had evolved fairly recently.テ「竄ャツ

The fossil forest was found in 2005 but was announced today in the online journal Geology. The area is now 100 meters underground. The research team believes an ancient earthquake some 300 million years ago caused a sudden lowering of the area, resulting in the inundation and fossilization of the forest.

Another surprise was that the ancient forest was so diverse for such an early period. テ「竄ャナ典his discovery also shows that the fundamental processes that guide the complexity and evolution of forests has been around for hundreds of millions of years,テ「竄ャツ News@Nature said.

Is this a テ「竄ャナ杜angrove-likeテ「竄ャツ plant or a true mangrove? If the latter, it sounds like a big out-of-order problem for evolution, because mangroves were not supposed to appear till the late Cretaceous and these forests are Carboniferous, over 200 million years earlier.

That would be a bigger problem than finding a living dinosaur. A quick check of the original paper in Geology (May 2007) does not reveal any mention of family Rhizophoraceae or any of the other mangroves, but that doesnテ「竄ャ邃「t mean they were not found. Weテ「竄ャ邃「ll have to see if more of the details come to light. In any case, gymnosperms were not thought to live in テ「竄ャナ杜angrove-likeテ「竄ャツ habitats.

This story also illustrates, as seen so often before, that wherever evolutionists look, they find more complexity farther back in time than they expect”.Creation/Evolution Headlines

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