Fossilised araucaria Wood from the Monkey Puzzle Tree
This is a substantial branch section of fossilised araucaria wood. This large specimen would make a superb display piece because of its lovely contrasting colours. It has a highly polished top and base, while the sides showing the actual fossilised bark. This section of fossilised wood is from the Triassic period and between 245 million to 200 million years old
The Araucarias is commonly known as the Monkey Puzzle Tree. This was one of the very earliest species of tree, and they grew to 60 metres tall. These trees were growing at the same time the sauropod dinosaur. These sauropods would have been a common sight in these ancient forests. There is a convincing theory, that their long necks evolved to reach the upper branches of these araucaria trees. Fossilised wood from the Mahajanga region of Madagascar is noted for its stunning colours. These include reds and purples and also contrasting shades of brown and grey. The different minerals in the ground during the fossilisation process create these beautiful colours. Two examples are iron and manganese. Incredibly the araucaria trees still thrive in the area where this fossil came from. In Madagascar today its importance and history has lead it to become the country’s national tree.