Fossilised Branch Section araucaria


Fossilised Branch Section araucaria or Monkey Puzzle Tree

Triassic; approx 245 million years old, Location; Mahajanga, Madagascar

Size; 9 cm at widest point, 8 cm deep,   Weight 345 gm   Ref No. F130



Fossilised Branch Section araucaria or Monkey Puzzle Tree

Fossilised Branch Section, of fossilised wood, from the ‘monkey puzzle’ tree, araucaria. It has a highly polished top and the sides show the actual fossilised bark. This fossil is from the Triassic period, and between 245 million to 200 million years old. This section, being a wedge shape, cut at an angle, makes it into a superb display piece.

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 famous 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.

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