Fossilised Wood Gymnosperm Tree


Fossilised Wood Gymnosperm Tree (protocupressinoxylon purbeckensis) (from Dorset)

Cretaceous Period 140 million years old

Size; 8cm x 3.5cm x 3.6cm high,    Weight; 158gm.  Ref No F188



Fossilised Wood Gymnosperm Tree (protocupressinoxylon purbeckensis) (from Dorset)

This section of Fossilised Wood is from the Isle Of Purbeck, near Worth Matravers, Dorset. It is from the from the Gymnosperm tree protocupressinoxylon purbeckensis. It measures 8cm across at the widest point and is 3.6cm thick. These trees were growing in Dorset, approximately 140 million years ago. At that time sea levels were falling. That left this part of Southern Dorset was quite different from today. Then this part of Southern England had a warm Mediterranean climate. The landscape here was one of lagoons and tropical rain forests. The Gymnosperm Tree was similar to the Cypress trees that grow today. There are also similarities to the araucaria araucana or Monkey Puzzle Trees. This piece of fossilised wood was found just a few miles from Lulworth Cove.

The Fossil Forest near Lulworth Cove. To the East of Lulworth Cove, is the superb ‘fossilised forest’. Rising water levels gradually flooded, what was then a tropical forest. This led to primative algae forming stromatolite rings around the remaining stumps, it is these are what can be seen today. None the less, they are  well worth visiting, and are an impressive sight. Note; The Fossil Forest is  on the Lulworth Army Ranges. Because of this check before visiting to see when they are open.

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