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Monday, September 19, 2011

Petrified Wood....

petrified knobby wood
I don't believe there is anything more diverse and amazing as petrified wood. Each piece has a unique story to tell. It tells the story of a beautiful tree or plant that once lived millions of years ago. Many pieces of petrified wood are so well preserved that you can easily identify the tree's growth rings. You can distinguish the type of tree that it once was simply by studying it's bark or cell pattern.
agatized tree stump
                                                                                           
 Trees and fossil plants can tell us the climate of any given area. We know that much of the land was once covered in dense, swampy marshes or tropical forests simply by studying the fossils plants that have been meticulously preserved in the coal seams or arid desert sands. Petrified wood often offers insight into the type of fauna found in a particular area as well. Evidence of animal life is often preserved in amber (fossilized tree sap) or through trace fossils found on the wood itself. For example, below is an amazing piece of wood that has been preserved with what is believed to be a small prehistoric woodpecker nest.
prehistoric wood pecker nest 
                                             


holes bored in wood by prehistoric wood pecker
           
Tree sap also trapped and preserved insects, seeds, pollen, and a variety of other scientifically important objects. So the next time you're out and about, keep a close eye out for petrified wood. Each piece has an important story to tell and you never know what you'll discover.

extremely rare flower preserved in amber
cricket preserved in amber
           

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