Petrified Forest

3 Jun 2021

William sent in this link - a fascinating discovery by a Park Ranger in California. See www.yahoo.com/news/one-biggest-fossil-finds-california-120000764.html ... It is a remarkable site and somehow avoided detection for years. What the Park Ranger thought was an unusual rock turned out to be a petrified tree. Rummaging around a bit more he went on to uncover lots of fossilised trees [presumably tree stumps]. In fact, it is a geological deposit fairly bristling in petrified trees, we are told. Later, further investigation by paleontologists, among others, uncovered fossil animal parts. Mastodons for example, and prehistoric elephants with four tusks, as well as tortoise and camels etc. It has been provisionally dated between 5 and 10 million years ago - and herein seem to lie a bigger story. A catastrophic one.

The same report is at https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/treasure-trove-fossils-unearth... ... where we learn the fossils go back to the Miocene. Some 600 petrified trees have been catalogued and the remains of animals caught up in the  broken forest - with more to be unearthed as the excavation continues. Paleontologists note this was a heap of animal remains - as a result of a flood event [and evidence of volcanic debris].

Going back further into time we have another horde of fossil animal remains - see www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/02/210224100849.htm ... in fact, the story goes back to late February but the fossils are dated to the Palaeogene. They include early primate fossils at the K/T boundary event [or shortly thereafter]. These are fossils of Purgtorius, an early primate with a small body that fed in insects and fruit. It sounds like a cross between purgatory and a Roman senator.